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Delightfully welcoming

From sake to whisky, 100 years of passion

The Yonezawa family settled in Akashi City in 1856. After mastering the art of sake brewing, the family began distilling in 1917. A century later, Kimio Yonezawa created the Kaikyo distillery to produce whiskies that embody the Hatozaki lighthouse, the oldest stone lighthouse in Japan, standing close to the distillery.

A visionary whisky creator

Kimio Yonezawa channeled his passion for fine spirits and did it all with a single goal in mind: to be instrumental in honoring the past and contributing to the future of Japanese whisky-making. He painstakingly selected a small number of pure and uncomplicated whisky distillates and matched them with the flavors and aromas he wanted, to express his own style and to honor his family craftsmanship by integrating the Japanese sense of perfection.

Japanese ageing signature

Kimio Yonezawa marries traditions and know-how with Japanese expertise. For the ageing, he is using 2 types of genuine wood barrels: the Sakura (Japanese cherry) and the Mizunara (Japanese white oak) giving complexity & balance. Lastly, an unforeseen cask finish: barrels impregnated with Umeshu, the popular Japanese plum liqueur that imparts roundness & delicacy. This Japanese influence permeates the whisky. It brings a sense of inner peace, and extraordinary serenity.

Maritime influences

The Kaikyo distillery is located on the shore of the Seto inland sea. There, summers are hot and humid with temperatures approaching 39°C, winters are mild and dry, and sea winds blow night and day across from the distillery. According to Kimio Yonezawa, these are optimal conditions for ageing whisky and developing characteristic flavours.

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