A single cask Hanyu (#378) distilled in 1991 and bottled at cask strength in 2010, matured first in a hogshead and finished in a hogshead with red oak heads. The now very famous and highly sought-after Card Series resulted from a meeting between Ichiro Akuto and artist Takeshi Abe. Ichiro Akuto was …More info
A single cask Hanyu (#378) distilled in 1991 and bottled at cask strength in 2010, matured first in a hogshead and finished in a hogshead with red oak heads. The now very famous and highly sought-after Card Series resulted from a meeting between Ichiro Akuto and artist Takeshi Abe. Ichiro Akuto was trying to sells cask from his grandfather’s distillery. The theme of playing cards had great appeal. Easily identifiable, the bottles’ labels helped them stand out and made them natural collectables. To ensure the whisky also stood out, each malt was finished in different types of cask, some of which were very original, following more traditional maturation in a hogshead. The series was launched in 2005 and ended in 2014 with two jokers—one monochrome and one polychrome. All in all, the series comprises 58 bottlings, representing the standard 52 cards, four doubles and two jokers. A limited edition of 329 bottles.
Japan, Saitama. Distillery closed and dismantled.
It was in 1941 that the Akuto family, saké brewers for generations, founded its distillery in the small town of Hanyu in Saitama Prefecture. In 1946, Hanyu was awarded a spirit production licence and began producing a grain spirit. In the early 1980s, the family began producing a Scottish-style malt whisky and equipped the distillery with pot stills. From 1983 to March 2000, it somehow supported this activity, but it was far from a commercial success and eventually the family decided to end the practice. The distillery was dismantled in 2004 and the site sold. It was Ichiro, Isouji Akuto's grandson, who bought the stills, along with some 400 barrels of Hanyu single malt in barrel. It was from this stock, covering the period 1985-2000, that the Playing Cards Series was created, a collection of 52 single casks of all ages and styles of maturation. A full set would today be valued at nearly one million euros. In parallel, Ichiro sold a huge number of single casks to his customers and brought to life his dream of building his own distillery, Chichibu.
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