With a long experience as brewers, the Yonezawa family has been distilling spirits since 1917 and it is to mark the centenary of this activity that the Kaikyō distillery was created along with Hatozaki whiskies.
With a long experience as brewers started in 1856, particularly with Akashi-Tai sakes, the Yonezawa family has been distilling spirits since 1917. 100 years later, in 2017, the production of spirits gains new momentum with the installation of Forsyths stills and the creation of the Kaikyō distillery to produce Japanese whisky and gin.
While waiting for the first single malt distilled at the Kaikyō distillery to be sufficiently mature, Kimio Yonezawa uses his skills as a master blender on Hatozaki blend whiskies. Inspired by his travels abroad and his regular exchanges with foreign master distillers and blenders, especially Scottish, Kimio Yonezawa carefully craft Hatozaki whiskies using a two-step blending process.
First, whiskies of various origins are selected to create the blend basis. Part of this base is then mixed with other whiskies stored in the Kaikyō distillery and different types of barrels are then used for aging and refining including bourbon, sherry, cherry blossom (sakura) or even Japanese oak mizunara.
As a result, to date, two whiskies: a blend therefore including malt and grain whiskies and a blended malt (or pure malt) made up of malt whiskies exclusively and produced in "small batch". These whiskies are not, for the moment, eligible for the formal designation of "Japanese whisky" being composed, probably in a significant part, of foreign whiskies imported in Japan.