The Akkeshi distillery is located on the island of Hokkaido. It started operations in 2016 and was founded by Keiichi Toita, who carefully chose the location, in northern Japan, for its climatic conditions very similar to those in Scotland: salt spray from the sea, pure air, rich peat deposits.
The stated intention is to use traditional Scottish distilling methods, to create a whisky similar to those of Islay; in fact, it is no coincidence that the two pot stills and the mash tun come from Forsyths, and it was some workers from the Scottish distillery who installed them, in 2013. As at Islay, moreover, the whiskey is made using water filtered through a layer of peat. Former bourbon and sherry casks are used for maturation, as well as rare Japanese oak casks; experiments are also being conducted on casks that have contained wine and rum.
Akkeshi Blended Usui is the third whisky in the '24 Solar Term' series, inspired by the ancient Asian calendar, which divides the year into 24 solar seasons. More than half of the malt comes from the Akkeshi distillery, is blended with imported new make and is put into casks at the same distillery, and aged here for more than three years. The result is one of great harmony, created by the sweet, fragrant peaty aromas typical of Akkeshi malt.