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MARS The Y.A, New Brand For Mars Focusing On Yakushima Aging

What you need to know:

  • Mars Whisky has created a new brand and line of whiskies entirely focused on exploring the effects of Yakushima Aging.

  • Yakushima is a world natural heritage site - a forested and hilly island located about 60km south-southwest of mainland Kagoshima.

  • What is special about this island is that it enjoys a humid subtropical climate with mild winters and hot summers, and is generally rain-soaked all year round.

  • This would appear to intensify the cask interaction with the whisky, while allowing it to mature for longer periods of time, creating a more intensely flavored whisky. This has also been said to give the whiskies a more unique maritime, sea salt note.

  • For the first release, whisky from Shinshu and Tsunuki were transported to the Yakushima Aging Cellar for maturation, having been aged in a Bourbon Barrel, and bottled at 52% ABV.

  • This is said to produce a whisky that possesses a "fruity aroma and the flavor reminiscent of the sea breeze".

    

(Image Source: Mars)

  

Mars Whisky has created a new brand and line of whiskies entirely focused on exploring the effects of Yakushima Aging.

Yakushima is a world natural heritage site - a forested and hilly island located about 60km south-southwest of mainland Kagoshima. What is special about this island is that it enjoys a humid subtropical climate with mild winters and hot summers, and is generally rain-soaked all year round.

  

A Guide to the Otherworldly Island of Yakushima - The New York Times

Yakushima is a world heritage site near Kagoshima with a humid subtropical climate. (Image Source: New York Times)

  

This would appear to intensify the cask interaction with the whisky, while allowing it to mature for longer periods of time, creating a more intensely flavored whisky. This has also been said to give the whiskies a more unique maritime, sea salt note.

It is important to note that the goal behind the brand is to solely focus on exploring the effects of aging in Yakushima, and that the whiskies that are aged on the island still come from Mars' two existing production facilities - Shinshu (Nagano) and Tsunuki (Kagoshima).

   

(Image Source: Mars, New York Times)

   

For the first release, whisky from Shinshu and Tsunuki were transported to the Yakushima Aging Cellar for maturation, having been aged in a Bourbon Barrel, and bottled at 52% ABV.

This is said to produce a whisky that possesses a "fruity aroma and the flavor reminiscent of the sea breeze".

  

(Image Source: Mars)

  

What is really interesting here is that while Mars, like Suntory and Nikka, have in their stable multiple distilleries deliberately based in different climates, so as to produce a wider range of whisky styles, Mars has pushed further into exploring the use of their dedicated aging cellar in Yakushima, where they do not produce whiskies and instead only age them. Of the other two, as far as we are aware, only Suntory has also its own aging cellar, the Ohmi Aging Cellar, but we've yet to see a release from the Japanese whisky giant that focuses solely on the effects of aging its whisky there.

This one will certainly be very interesting to try, and thus far we've heard good things about the effects of Yakushima aging in past similar releases from both the Komagatake and Tsunuki lineups.

   

Kanpai!

 

@111hotpot



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