Type: Single grain Japanese whisky
Malt Mileage rating: ⭐⭐⭐
Established in 1899, the Suntory company owns a number of distilleries which each churn out whisky in an attempt to meet the world’s growing appetite for Japanese whisky – the Yamazaki distillery, the Hakushu distillery and the lesser known Chita distillery.
Built in Japan’s Chita Peninsula in 1972, the Chita distillery produces grain whisky with the use of a column still. Column stills use long columns that are packed with different compartments which can each distill vapour. So, as vapour rises and passes through each compartment, it is distilled and its alcohol purity increases with each “distillation”. These type of stills can produce a high strength spirit in one go, so unlike when pot stills are used there is no need to distill a wash twice or three times on separate occasions.
According to Suntory, Chita distillery distills three types of grain spirit (mainly from corn) which each have a distinct character and profile: a clean and slightly sweet spirit, a medium-bodied spirit which shows cereal character, and, a heavy full-bodied spirit.
Chita’s grain spirits are matured in a number of different casks, such as American white oak, wine casks and Spanish oak.
Nose: Heavy cereal notes, caramel, licorice and black jelly beans, sweet corn, hints of vanilla, mandarin peel, honey, butter.
Taste: Bitey and somewhat coarse, a foundation of dense cereals supports spice, licorice, caramel, honey, wood smoke, candied citrus, vanilla and, perhaps most interesting, drying yellow plum.
Finish: Drying, like biting into a slightly bitter yellow plum, then vanillas and caramel are joined by white pepper and orange peel in what is a buttery finale.