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LMDW Unveils New Mars x Takahiro Kurashima Artist Collection


LMDW has put together a four-expression Mars collection that will feature the art of Japanese artist Takahiro Kurashima, which will see the whiskies originate from Mars' Shinshu and Tsunuki distilleries, which are then aged either on-site or in the Yakushima ageing cellars.

Takahiro Kurashima is known for his kinetic inspired art - in this collection, we'll see the Mars labels feature geometric patterns that are meant to evoke the natural features of the whiskies' birthplace, Shinshu, Tsunuki and Yakushima - reminiscent of 2022's three part Mars collection that featured labels that equally sought to do the same.


Takahiro Kurashima. (Image Source: Lars Muller Publishers)


In the labels, Kurashima's use of golden hues are designed to be a measure of the peatiness, while a white circle denotes bourbon barrel ageing, with a black circle indicating sherry cask ageing. Together the various motifs are designed to be a visual cue as to the whisky contained.


"The motifs of Shinshu (mountains), Tsunuki (basin), and Yakushima (waves) on the label were used as the background. The peat (gold) and the cask (sun) interfere with the background. I used the moiré effect which is originally avoided in the video as a means of expression."

Takahiro Kurashima


Komagatake 5 Year Old 2018 Shinshu Aging 50ppm

Japan, Single Malt, 62% ABV, Single Cask #3989 - Bourbon Barrel, 206 Bottles.

"First founded in 1985, the Mars Shinshu distillery was dismantled in 1992 as Japan went into an economic crisis and demand dropped. After reopening in 2011 initially only during the winter, it has now returned to full-time production, save for a short period of closure in the summer designed to preserve the groundwater table.

This absolutely magnificent version is peated to 50 ppm and reveals an incredibly fresh expression of complex green tones throughout the tasting." 

Tsunuki 5 Year Old 2019 Tsunuki Aging 50ppm

Japan, Single Malt, 60% ABV, Single Cask #T738 - Sherry Hogshead, 239 Bottles.

"The Tsunuki distillery was founded in 2016 and is located on the island of Kyushu in the very south of Japan. It is equipped with a 5,800 litre wash still and a 3,300 litre spirit still.

This version is peated to 50 ppm and accordingly the nose opens with a particularly peaty and smoky character.

The palate is more accommodating, with peat and smoke allowing a full expression of fruity, vanilla, chocolate and floral notes that highlight the quality of the sherry cask maturation."

Komagatake 6 Year Old 2017 Yakushima Aging 20ppm

Japan, Single Malt, 57% ABV, Single Cask #2122 - Sherry Hogshead, 251 Bottles.

"After its two stills were replaced in 2014, the Mars Shinshu distillery was equipped with three Douglas Pine washbacks in 2018, and then between 2019 and 2020 with a new washback and stainless steel mash tun as well as a new warehouse.

Matured in the hot and warm climate of the island of Yakushima, this version is peated to 20 ppm and reveals a palette of deeply nuanced yellows, greens, browns and blacks that wonderfully highlight the malt's mature expression." 

Tsunuki 6 Year Old 2017 Yakushima Aging 20ppm

Japan, Single Malt, 60% ABV, Single Cask #2082 - Bourbon Barrel, 175 Bottles. 

"The playground of the young master distiller Tatsuro Kusano, the Tsunuki distillery produces both unpeated new make spirits and peated spirits, which are peated to as much as 50 ppm.

This version peated to 20 ppm was matured in a bourbon cask on the subtropical island of Yakushima and is particularly extroverted and sunny.

Enriched with complex tertiary and exotic flavours, it maintains a peaty and smoky structure that acts as the backbone to the tasting."





88 Bamboo Editorial Team