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Two prominent Japanese whiskies have joined Mangrove Global’s stellar portfolio of world whiskies. Brought to European markets by Whiskies du Monde, the Akashi and Yamazakura whiskies will bring a fresh and exciting new offering to UK world whisky lovers – and be the first Japanese whiskies in the Mangrove portfolio. The two independent brands will make the most of Mangrove’s category and industry knowledge, to extend their reach across both the on and off-trade, competing with the bigger players in the UK whisky market.

Akashi has an impressive back story, coming from the White Oak, Eigashima distillery, which was the first in Japan to receive a whisky licence back in 1919. Today the distillery is quite experimental, innovating with different cask finishes, ranging from sake to red wine. Akashi is a popular whisky in Japan and is representative of the typical style enjoyed by Japanese whisky drinkers.

The spirit is already available in the UK through Waitrose, Amazon and selected bars, but Mangrove’s aim will be to not only raise awareness of the quality liquid, but also to broaden distribution into specialised retail and the best of the on-trade.

The second whisky, Yamazakura Single Malt, is completely new to the UK and is the super-premium variety in the range, a selection of whiskies created at the Asaka distillery. The Asaka Distillery is the only one of its kind in Japan’s Tohoku region, and benefits from the area’s rich natural resources, including fresh water from one of the country’s largest lakes. The distillery only produces for 150 days of the year, with a small team of four people – which means there are only 10 barrels produced of the single malt, annually.

Using precise and historic methods of Japanese whisky production, Yamazakura Single Malt is refined, elegant, and truly different from the standard Scotch and Irish varieties. Now owned by one of Japan’s longest-standing spirits producers, Sasanokawa Shuzo, there is 200 years of expertise poured into the design of this exceptional small-batch drink.

Vincent Faesch, Area Manager for Europe at Whiskies du Monde, said:

Japanese whisky is an incredible genre of spirit and there is such care and attention going into each bottle – especially when it comes to export. UK whisky fans are becoming increasingly aware of how rewarding world whisky is as a category, and why the freedoms that international producers have create liquids that can be quite different from Scotch.

Both Akashi and Yamazakura offer a wonderful drinking experience – and are must-have bottles within any whisky collection.

Japanese whisky has successfully challenged the traditional Scotch market for many years, thanks to the precision and care taken by Japanese distillers. The timing for these brands to enter the UK market is ideal. Japanese whisky has entered an exciting new period of transparency, with the introduction of new classification rules which safeguard the quality of the liquids in the bottle. As well as this, here in the UK, the popularity of World Whisky is increasing exponentially.

Nick Gillett, Managing Director at leading UK spirits distributor Mangrove Global said:

At Mangrove, we’ve been championing world whiskies for a long time now, and no world whisky portfolio is complete without some quality Japanese spirits. Akashi and Yamazakura are two very different spirits, but together they authentically represent how whisky is enjoyed in Japan. Each delicious in their own right, we’ll bring these two category leaders to a wider reach of customers, all while introducing world whisky lovers to the wonders of Japanese distilling.