Japan’s Highest Distillery at 798 meters. Situated between the north and south Japanese alps, Mars Shinshu is Japan’s highest whisky distillery, at nearly 800 meters. The Hombo family have been distilling for more than a century and they added whisky to their repertoire in 1949 in Kagoshima. That was the southernmost whisky made in Japan until 1984, when all whisky production was moved to the current location in Nagano.
This whisky is named after Kiichiro Iwai, known as “The Silent Pioneer of Japan Whisky,” and the former mentor of Masataka Taketsuru, the founder of Nikka and Suntory Whisky. Iwai sent Taketsuru to Scotland to learn the art of whisky-making. Taketsuru returned to Japan, presenting a whisky-making report- the Taketsuru Notes- to Iwai. Taketsuru was the first Japanese to learn the art of whisky-making.