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[Review] Mars Whisky Dakekanba Brandy Cask Finish

Article first published by our partner, Japanese Whisky Dictionary. Visit them here. Find the original article here.



In October 2019, Kokubu Hokkaido Co., Ltd. and Hombo Shuzo Co., Ltd. jointly developed the “Dakekanba” brand, which is sold only in Hokkaido. It is a 100% malt whiskey made by carefully selecting multiple malts to suit the tastes of Hokkai Hokkaido residents.

The contents of the original whisky have not been disclosed, but it is a blend of various ages and types of barrels, including overseas original whisky.

The brand name “Dakekanba” is a tree that symbolizes the majestic land of Hokkaido, growing wild in the uppermost parts of northern regions and high mountains, twisted and bent by the wind and snow in the harsh natural environment of Hokkaido.

The Mars Whisky Dakekanba premium whisky commemorates the 80th anniversary of Kokubu Hokkaido. Only 1,400 bottles will be sold in Hokkaido.


The Bottle

Mars Whiskey Dakekanba Brandy Barrel Finish is made by maturing Mars Whiskey Dakekanba in the same barrels used to mature Tokachi brandy for another year and a half.

It is a malt whiskey with a rich yet delicate flavor that combines the characteristics of “Dakekanba” with the sweet aroma and honey flavor derived from brandy, a pleasant peaty aroma, and a smooth, long-lasting aftertaste.



Aroma Gentle sweetness of chocolate and banana
Taste Full-bodied sweetness of vanilla and high cocoa chocolate, with a hint of grape astringency
Aftertaste Sweet, mellow and complex aftertaste of brandy



Alcohol content 43% 
Alcohol category Blended malt
Cask type Aged in Tokachi brandy barrels
Contents 700ml
Number of bottles sold Limited to 1,400 bottles
Suggested retail price 7,700 yen (tax included)
Release date October 8, 2021



Our Take

In order to match the image of the label design and the cuisine of Hokkaido, the beer has been designed with just the right amount of peat to give it a masculine yet supple long finish, and to go well with a wide range of foods.

Indeed, when drunk with soda, the sweetness and slight astringency from the brandy barrels and the slight peat that it has to begin with are a perfect match, making it a whiskey that goes well with food.

Straight up, it has a mellow mouthfeel and a mellow sweetness that fills the mouth. There is a slight hint of peat, but the sweetness from the post-aging brandy barrels overwhelms the sweet, rich and mellow taste.

It is a well-balanced whisky that is easy to drink.


(All Images Courtesy of JPWhisky.net)


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