April 1st Is Japanese Whisky Day!
Japanese Whisky Day was established on 1 April by the Japan Whisky Research Centre, which conducts research, collects and disseminates information on whisky. The aim of this anniversary is to make people widely aware of its history, production methods, differences from whiskies from other countries and taste characteristics, as well as to encourage more people to drink Japanese whisky, which is highly regarded throughout the world.
日本威士忌研究中心(Japan Whisky Research Centre) 把4月1日设定为威士忌日，其目的旨在研究、收集和宣传关威士忌相关信息。这个纪念日的目的是让人们广泛了解日本威士忌的历史、生产方法、与其他国家产的威士忌的不同之处和口味特点，同时鼓励更多的人喝到在世界上备受推崇的日本威士忌。
Whisky is believed to have been brought into Japan at the same time as the opening of the country to the outside world at the end of the Edo period. At first, full-scale production was not possible in Japan and imitations were made exclusively.
Later, Masataka Taketsuru (later founder of Nikka Whisky) learnt whisky production methods in Scotland, and Kotobukiya (now Suntory) began domestic production. It was on 1 April 1929 that Kotobukiya began selling the product under the trade name Suntory Whisky (commonly known as "Shirofuda" or white label). Therefore, 1 April is considered to be an important anniversary for Japanese whisky. And the best way to celebrate this day is, of course, sipping on Japanese whisky!
Celebrate with Umesky!
Saburomaru Distillery stands at the site of a famous Japanese sake brewing company, Wakatsuru Shuzo in Toyama. With high season of brewing Japanese sake being in winter, most sake craftspeople lose their jobs during hot seasons. However, Wakatsuru Shuzo broke the tradition, as they hired craftsmen as full-time workers and started distilling whiskey to generate jobs for them.
Wakatsuru Shuzo Umesky is a unique blend of whisky and ume fruits. Every July unripe ume is steeped in the whisky made in the distillery, slowly drawing out the sweetness and sourness of ume. Ume is harvested in Toyama Prefecture and it is steeped for around a year in the whisky. The result is hard to describe but the delicate aroma of ume and the smooth whiskey are the characteristics of Umesky. At the first sip, you will feel the acidity of ume (which is a little bit stronger that regular umeshu), and then the smooth taste of whisky will follow soon after.