[Review] Single Malt Komagatake AGED 9 YEARS Small Batch

Reseña del whisky
Reseña del whisky
Hombo Shuzokomagatake Distillery

This single malt whisky was bottled by carefully selecting and vatting several barrels of malt whisky aged for more than nine years from among the malt whisky matured in the cool environment of Shinshu. As a small batch, the production quantity is small and limited to 188 bottles.


1. Manufacturer

Hombo Shuzo Co.,Ltd.

Establishment 1872
Head office location 3-27 Nanei, Kagoshima City, Kagoshima Prefecture, 891-0122, Japan
Owned distilleriesMars Shinshu Distillery, Mars Tsunuki Distillery

2. Distillery

Mars Shinshu Distillery

Location 4752-31 Miyata-mura, Kamiina-gun, Nagano 399-4301
Start of operation 1985

In 1949, Hombo Shuzo, which had been striving to make «Shochu», a Japanese distilled spirit, in Kagoshima, obtained a license to produce whisky. Since then, the company has held on to the dream of «someday making real whisky that takes full advantage of the Japanese climate.»
After several years of whisky production in Kagoshima, in 1960, he established the «Mars Yamanashi Winery», a factory for wine and whisky production in Yamanashi. Then, in order to engage in whisky production in earnest, he searched for an even more ideal location.

The natural conditions for whisky making are very demanding: cold climate with clean air, moderate humidity, and good quality water.

In 1985, after searching for land that met these conditions, Mars Shinshu Distillery was established at an altitude of 798 meters at the foot of Komagatake Mountain in the Central Alps, Nagano Prefecture, in search of the best environment for whisky making.
In 1992, distillation was halted due to sluggish demand for whisky. Later, as Japanese whisky began to be appreciated worldwide, we decided to resume distilling in 2009, when the demand for whisky was on the recovery trend, and started distilling again in 2010. The company re-started in February 2011.
In September 2020, it was completely renovated for the first time in 35 years. The investment is approximately 1.2 billion yen.

In May 2019, a new whisky distillation building (including a barrel cellar) was built to renovate aging facilities, improve the barrel cellar facilities with a view to increasing whisky production, and provide tours of the whisky making process, as well as a visitor building to sell original whisky and merchandise.
The new whisky distillation building has a total floor area of 1,996 square meter (including the barrel cellar, which will hold approximately 2,500 barrels), and the visitor’s building has a floor area of 746 square meter.

Reference: Hombo Shuzo official website

■Production capacity: 1.1 tons of malt per day
■Production capacity of malt malt: 1.1 t/day
■Main facilities: 1 malt crusher, 1 mash tun reuter (saccharification tank) 6KL, 3 stainless steel fermentation tanks 6KL, 3 Douglas fir wooden fermentation tanks (relocated) 6KL, and a first distillation kettle (relocated)

For more information about Mars Shinshu Distillery, please see also here↓.


3. Product name and photo

Single Malt Komagatake AGED 9 YEARS Small Batch
Single Malt Komagatake Aged 9 Years Small Batch

4. Characteristics

Miyata Village, Kamiina-gun, Nagano Prefecture, is located at the foot of Komagatake, in the Japanese Alps mountain range. The distillery is located in a quiet forest at an altitude of 798 meters, surrounded by abundant nature and good quality water.
«Single Malt Komagatake AGED 9 YEARS Small Batch» is a rare single malt whisky, which is made by carefully selecting and vatting several barrels of malt whisky matured for more than 9 years in the cool environment of Shinshu.
*This product conforms to the Japan Spirits & Liquors Makers Association «Standards for the Labeling of Japanese Whisky.»
Reference: Mars Single Malt Komagatake AGED 9 YEARS Small Batch

4-1. Tasting Notes

AromaVanilla, oak, and peat aromas derived from bourbon casks
TasteHigh cocoa chocolate bitterness and moderate sweetness
AftertasteLong bitter tone on the tongue, peatiness on the nose, and greenness like young bananas

4-2. Product Specifications

Alcohol content50%
alcohol categorySingle Malt Japanese Whisky
Cask typeBourbon barrels, American white oak barrels
Number of bottles soldLimited to 188 bottles
Suggested retail price17,600 yen (tax included)
Release date2023

5. Awards

World Whisky Awards (WWA 2023) Single Malt Small Batch Category – Japan’s Highest Award

Tokyo Whisky & Spirits Competition (TWSC 2023) Gold Prize, Western liquor Category


<What is the World Whiskies Awards (WWA)?>

The World Whiskies Awards (WWA) is the world’s leading whisky competition held in the UK. Organized by Paragraph Publishing, publishers of the whisky magazine «Whisky Magazine,» only official bottles from the manufacturer and seller are eligible. The title of «World’s Best Whisky» is determined by a rigorous final judging process that includes a blind tasting in which the brand name is concealed from the judges. The final judging will be conducted by blind tasting with the name of the brand hidden.


<What is the Tokyo Whisky & Spirits Competition (TWSC)?>

The Tokyo Whisky & Spirits Competition (TWSC) is a whisky and spirits competition in Japan, planned and managed by the Whisky Culture Institute. The purpose of the competition is to promote high quality whiskies and spirits both domestically and internationally by evaluating whiskies and spirits from around the world with the deep knowledge and passion of Japanese whisky and spirits connoisseurs. Gold, Silver, and Bronze awards will be determined for each category based on the results of the judging based on aroma, flavor, finish, balance, and overall judging criteria. The Gold, Silver, and Bronze prizes are awarded based on the results of the scoring based on the criteria of aroma, flavor, finish, balance, and overall performance. The Executive Committee deliberates and decides which product receives the most outstanding score among the Gold prizes and awards the «Highest Gold Award».

6. Price

6-1. Suggested Retail Price

Product nameSingle Malt Komagatake AGED 9 YEARS Small Batch
Suggested Retail Price17,600 yen including tax

6-2. Resale price on Mercari

Resale prices on Mercari range from around 42,000 yen to 99,300 yen. (*As of May 16, 2023)

6-3. Sold price on Yahoo! Auctions

Sold price on Yahoo! Auctions: Lowest 35,000 yen Highest 40,000 yen Average 36,833 yen (*As of May 16, 2023)

6-4. Rakuten, Yahoo Shopping, and Amazon

Each of these retail sites does not appear to have any sales at this time. (*As of May 16, 2023)

6-5. Prices offered at BAR Shinkai

At «BAR Shinkai» operated by this site, one glass, 45ml: 5,280 yen, 30ml: 3,520 yen, 15ml: 1,760 yen.

 Información sobre «BAR Shinkai»
Nuestro sitio web "Diccionario del whisky japonés" gestiona tres tiendas "BAR Shinkai" en Minato War

7. Summary

Drinking it straight, the strong bitter taste and the peaty smell on the nose interweave to create a powerful whisky.

The lingering bitterness on the tongue is long and persistent, while the aroma on the nose is not only peaty, but also fresh and gorgeous, like young bananas. The long aftertaste gives a very satisfying sip.

Furthermore, by adding water, the acidity, which had a modest presence behind the bitterness, comes out and shows a lighter expression that is different from the heaviness when straight brewed.

You can enjoy the various changes in expression with a small amount of water added, so you can fully enjoy the charm of this whisky by enjoying the changes while slowly adding water on the rocks.

■Please be sure to read other articles about «Hombo Shuzo, Single Malt Komagatake».

[Review] Single Malt Komagatake ...
It is brewed at Minami Shinshu Beer Komagatake Brewery using plenty of hops, and is brewed in empty barrels with India Pale Ale (IPA) lying down.

Por último: Libros recomendados sobre el whisky japonés

Si quiere aprender más sobre el whisky japonés, que es una tendencia mundial, le recomendamos estos libros.

(1). El whisky japonés como educación para los negocios

Se trata de un libro escrito por Mamoru Tsuchiya, un crítico de whisky de fama mundial y representante del Instituto de Investigación de la Cultura del Whisky, titulado 《 El whisky japonés como cultura para los negocios. 》
El libro abarca los fundamentos del whisky, la introducción del whisky en Japón, el nacimiento del whisky japonés, las estrategias publicitarias y el auge del whisky japonés, y el actual auge de las destilerías artesanales. Se trata de un libro que resume el whisky japonés de forma muy fácil de entender.

(2). El whisky y yo (Masataka Taketsuru)

Masataka Taketsuru, el fundador de Nikka Whisky, dedicó su vida a la elaboración de whisky en Japón. Esta es una versión revisada y reimpresa de la autobiografía de un hombre que simplemente amaba el whisky y hablaba de sí mismo. El libro describe vívidamente los días en que fue a Escocia solo para estudiar de joven y superó muchas dificultades para completar el whisky japonés, así como a su compañera, Rita.

(3). Una carta de desafío de una destilería de nueva generación

Lanzamiento en 2019. En un momento en el que el mundo está viviendo un boom del whisky sin precedentes, ¿en qué pensaban los responsables de las destilerías artesanales y cuáles fueron sus reflexiones cuando asumieron el reto de elaborar whisky? Este libro cuenta las historias de 13 propietarios de destilerías artesanales, incluido Ichiro Akuto, de Venture whisky, famoso por su Ichirose Malt, que inspiró el nacimiento de las destilerías artesanales en Japón.

(4). Whiskey Rising

Esta es la versión japonesa de Whisky Risng, publicada en Estados Unidos en 2016, con un contenido muy actualizado. No solo describe la historia del whisky japonés en detalle, sino que también incluye datos sobre todas las destilerías de Japón, incluidas las destilerías artesanales que se han fundado en los últimos años. El libro también incluye descripciones de las botellas legendarias que han salido al mercado, así como información sobre los bares donde se puede encontrar whisky japonés.

Ryuhei Oishi

Camarero del bar Shinkai Toranomon, nacido en Hokkaido.
Trabajó en un restaurante de Tokio y obtuvo el título de sumiller en la Asociación Japonesa de Sumilleres.
Se interesó por el whisky japonés, del que tenía pocos conocimientos, y empezó a trabajar en el bar Shinkai. Se unió a JWD para visitar destilerías, hablar con la gente que hace el whisky y transmitir su pasión e información como barman.

Ryuhei Oishiをフォローする
Diccionario de whisky japonés