Matsui Shuzo Distillery was founded in 1910 northwest of Kyoto on the facing the Sea of Japan in Tottori Prefecture. Importantly, the distillery is within sight of Mount Daisen — a volcanic peak rising more than a mile above the surrounding fertile plains. This is significant because the spring water used to distill their Sake, Shōchū, and Whisky and bring it to proof has filtered through volcanic stone for eons — resulting in significant purity and a unique, soft mineral composition.
The Matsui Shuzo Distillery keeps a low profile. It’s almost enigmatic with no visitor center or direct sales. But the line Whiskies that comes out of their warehouses are very highly regarded — including ten Single Malts under the Kurayoshi brand and five grain Whiskies under their Tottori nameplate. All of them very popular with the discriminating dram-lovers across the Land of the Rising Sun.
A lot of Whisky lovers argue that twelve years is the perfect age for a Malt. Taste is such a personal thing that’s it’s hard to say. But we have noticed that many of our favorite drams happen to be in the ballpark of a dozen years or so. Kurayoshi 12 Year Old Pure Malt is not exception.
All the bases are covered — pure Malt aged a full twelve years in new, lightly charred oak, and served up at an absolutely perfect 46% ABV without any of the unwelcome and unnecessary additives that no one really wants. And the result is certainly a sweet spot for us — mellowing the bright tones of the younger spirits into warm notes of nuts and toffee.
Want to hear the best part? It's a 100% malted barley Whisky, sourced from distilleries around Scotland, before making their way to Japan, where it is blended with Japanese Whisky, aged, and cut to proof with the legendary volcanic stone filtered water of Tottori Prefecture.
Appearance / Color
Nose / Aroma / Smell
Warm roasted nuts and malt.
Flavor / Taste / Palate
Vanilla toffee, sultanas, and toasted wood with a hint of tart cherry.
Soft and smooth.