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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