Hombo Shuzo Company opened her Mars Shinshu Distillery already in 1985 (however closed from 1992 until 2011) and recently opened a second distillery: Mars Tsunuki. It is the southern most Japanese distillery. On 10th November 2016 the pots were fired up for the first time, meaning the company will have their own single malt just in time for the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo. Until then we wait. Unless… Hombo Shuzo has bottled – albeit very little, only 4000 bottles of 250ml – their new make. There is unpeated, peated and heavily peated new make. We’ll try the latter.
Oh, my, this new make is very dirty, if you know what I mean. Sour, cooked to paste vegetables, lemonade that has been standing in the sun for two days and withered flowers. The peat gives it a metallic edge. Diluted it is a lot sweeter, but luckily as dirty as without water. Mashed potatoes enter the fray. Quite lovely!
It comes as no surprise that this new make is hot. Yet not scorching. It tastes of rotting leaves, spirit of coconut and offers some sweetness already. I quite like this. Experience learns that dirty new make often results in great whisky. With (quite a bit of) water, this is even a spirit that can be enjoyed neat. Well, it is not whisky, obviously, but a good eau-de-vie from time to time is something to enjoy.
The finish is dirty, dirtier, dirtiest!
Very promising! I am very much looking forward to the 2020 Olympics if for nothing else just to try a bottle of malt from Tsunuki. Everyone knows I have a soft spot for new make. This one certainly enters the shortlist of great embryonic whiskies. Thanks, Marcel!