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It's A Spate Of Takamine Koji-Fermented Whiskies Unleashed!


We previously reported on a set of new Takamine whiskies that appeared to be in the works - well, there's more!

Here's a quick recap (for more, check out our previous news flash here):

  • Takamine whiskey unlike conventional whiskies is made with Koji that is a bacteria culture able to create enzymes that converts starch into sugars that can be fermented to produce alcohol.

  • This allows distillers to skip the process of malting barley, allowing it to germinate and produce sugars on its own which is then fermented. We're glossing over some very technical details - but we're here for the whisky not the science.

  • Using Koji is entirely common with Sake makers and is highly uncommon with whisky makers (read: next to never used).

  • However, for historical context, this process was created by a Japanese chemist Dr Jokichi Takamine, who was also known for creating medical adrenaline who folks with allergies can thank for saving lives. 

  • He had gone to America to further his work and had received a patent for the Takamine process (outlined in simple above) the very year Masataka Taketsuru, the father of Japanese whisky, was born! This would have made Dr Takamine the very first Japanese whisky distiller and would have made him likely a major part of America's bourbon scene.

  • However, due to a series of business complications, his work - the whisky part anyway - was never commercialised. 

  • Nonetheless, a sake brewery Shinozaki has sought to revive the historic process to recreate Koji-fermented whiskies, hence the Takamine brand. Nevertheless, it is a rather contentious whiskey for its very unusual process.


Here are the additional expressions that we can expect from the brand.

Takamine Whiskey Sakura Cask

Takamine Whiskey Sherry Cask

Takamine Whiskey 9 Year Old Single Cask

Takamine Whiskey 25 Year Old Single Cask


Thus all in, there appears to be six new expressions in the works, from various age-statement releases ranging 9 years old to 16 years old and 25 years old, to several cask finished expressions ranging from Sakura Cask, to Sherry Cask and Brandy Casks.

All of them appear to be bottled at the same 80.6 Proor of 40.3% ABV.




88 Bamboo Editorial Team