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NIKKA TO SUSPEND SHIPMENTS OF THREE JAPANESE WHISKIES WITH AGE STATEMENTS

By Siulan Law Mathews DipWSET

14-1-2020



Source: Asahi Group Holdings

Japan’s Nikka Whisky Distillery has announced that they will suspend shipments of three products with age statements after the end of March due to a shortage of raw whisky.

The three products to be suspended belong to the blended whisky line "Taketsuru Pure Malts" with labels of “17 Years Old,” “21 Years Old” and “25 Years Old”.

Asahi Group Holdings Ltd, the parent company of Nikka Whisky Distillery, said they will continue to sell whiskies with no age statement.

In 2015, the company suspended shipments of their single malt brands Yoichi and Miyagikyo with age statements. From end of March onwards, all domestically produced Nikka whiskies will be sold with no age statement.

Japanese whiskies have been in severe shortage in recent years with the soaring popularity of the soda and whisky drink Highballs. The hype was fueled by a NHK drama about Masataka Taketsuru who founded the Nikka Whisky Distillery in 1934.

In the face of the acute supply shortage, Japanese retailers are importing whiskies from Taiwan, New Zealand and Australia to meet the high demands.

Major Japanese whisky makers are strengthening production and storage capacity to improve the situation.

Nikka Whisky Distilling made capital investments totaling 6 billion yen over three years to increase production capacity. It also resumed operations of some facilities at the Miyagikyo distillery in Sendai.

Kirin Brewery Co. is considering its first capital investment in half a century in its Fuji Gotenba distillery in Shizuoka Prefecture to increase the stock of unblended whisky.

Suntory Spirits Ltd. plans to enhance its storage capacity by 20 percent by 2020 through an 18b yen investment in the storage facilities of its Hakushu distillery in Yamanashi Prefecture and elsewhere.

(the writer can be contacted at: info@thewinechronicle.com)

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