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, our master blender and distiller, is honouring his heritage and the 100th anniversary of his family’s business by creating the Kaikyō distillery and the Hatozaki whiskies.
First, several whiskies are selected to create the base blend. This selection is then allowed to mature for as long as needed. A part of this base blend is then poured back into barrels with other whiskies at the Kaikyō distillery, which takes its name from the nearby suspended bridge.
During this second stage of blending, several types of barrels are used, such as bourbon, sherry, sakura (Japanese cherry), or even mizunara (Japanese white oak). This step makes it possible to weave in additional aromatic notes, creating both complexity and balance that Japanese whiskies are known for.
The Kaikyo distillery is located in the Hyogo region, facing 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.