Shinobu Distillery of Niigata Beer Co
“SHINOBU” MEANS “FORBEARANCE” IN JAPANESE, SYMBOLIZING THE SPIRIT OF A SAMURAI, LIKE MAKING GREAT SPIRITS WHICH TAKES TIME, PATIENCE AND PERSISTENCE.
Shinobu distillery of Niigata Beer Co. is located in a beautiful area Niigata prefecture of Japan, a place that is praised for its rich white treasures of “water source”, “white rice” and “sake”.
In the distillation house, there is a passionate whisky enthusiast and experienced brewer “Usama Ken”, who is also the founder of Niigata Beer Co. Ltd.. As an innovator at heart, Mr. Usami was the first brewer to apply secondary bottle fermentation and aging in Niigata Beer. As an experienced brewer, Mr. Usami dreams of creating a local whisky distillery that will be able to showcase the quality of local pure water and serves the passionate community of spirit lovers. Eventually in 2017, Mr. Usami obtained the first whisky license for Niigata (another first!) and thus started his journey as taking on a distiller role.
While the distillery is still under construction, Mr. Usami expects to mix and match Japanese flavor with the world. Therefore the first batch of “SHINOBU MIZUNARA OAK FINISH” was born from this belief.
JAPANESE MIZUNARA OAK: THE RARE AND UNIQUE TO JAPAN
Mizunara oak, one of the rarest and most expensive types of oak in the world. its story is deeply rooted in Japanese history. During World War II, Japan was economically blocked by various countries and could not import oak barrels. At the end of the war, japan soon faced shortages of imported casks, so whisky makers had to begin to use the native oak, Mizunara. The uniqueness of Mizunara oak is that it takes 200 to 500 years for the plant itself to be made as wooden barrels. It can blend with other flavors well, and offer offers complex notes of sandalwood, coconut, spice and Japanese incense, displaying the refinement of oriental flavour with powerful yet velvet mouthfeel.
NIIGATA”S THREE WHITE TREASURES
Niigata is well known locally for its “three white treasures,” namely snow, rice and sake. It is also a naturally blessed environment for pure water source; thus a perfect location for making whisky. In winter, when humid air from the sea passes over the japan and travels to the pacific left side, it causes Niigata snowfall to reach up. The snow remains in mountaintop, and gradually melts from the middle of summer and flows through the rivers in Niigata. This water eventually comes back to become the pure water source of local breweries and distilleries.
Reference: MADEHOW, TANOSHIOSAKE, NIIGATA SAKE.OR.JP, WHISKY ADVOCATE, WINE ENTHUSIAST