Founded by Ichiro Akuto in 2008, Chichibu is a small japanese distillery which has gained a lot of success and estimations among the most experts during the last years.
It is located in Chichibu (秩父市 Chichibu-shi) a city in Japanese Prefecture of Saitama, about 100 km west of Tokyo in a mountainous area with very variable temperatures: winter is almost constantly below zero while in summer it often exceeds thirty degrees.
Thanks to this climate, there is a greater expansion and contraction of the woods and an angel share of 3/4% per year (about twice as much as Scotland).
Ichiro, the talented Master Distiller of Chichibu distillery, is part of a great Distillers family generation: his grandson, indeed, was the founder of the now-defunct Hanyu distillery, while previous ancestors founded a sake brewery in 1625.
Ichiro, through the Ichiro's Malt brand, has bottled various types of whiskies, well known to all collectors: the first includes single malts from Hanyu's surviving stock, about a hundred barrels; the second, on the other hand, is composed of sought-after blends that are also appreciated by the experts.
Despite its small size, the Chichibu distillery is a forge of continuous experimentation.
It was built a small malting floor where he began to get malt from some of the cereals used in production. The cereals are all from local producers who, together with Ichiro, are carrying out an agricultural experimentation project on the different varieties of barley that can be grown in Japan.
Not more than six months ago, Chichibu built its own in-house factory where the young distillery workers build their casks, especially the difficult Mizunara barrels, with wood from the island of Hokkaido.
Founded in 1941 by Isouji Akuto (grandfather of Ichiro Akuto), it stopped producing whisky in 2000 and then it was finally dismantled in 2004.
The few bottlings that are on the market are released by the nephew, under the Ichiro's Malt brand, or belong to the collecting world.