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A Whisky License
Sublime island-style, lightly peated whisky will now be legally distilled in Rishiri.
Hey, I’m Casey. Welcome to our newsletter, sharing the startup journey of Kamui Whisky K.K. We’ve been busy, but when we aren’t overwhelmed, we’ll share a story as we craft up a whisky distillery on a remote, volcanic island in the most northern part of Japan.
It’s official. We have a license to distill whisky.
It’s been a long, arduous application process, an encounter with the rules-for-rules-sake that I get so frustrated with in Japan, but through a full-team effort, and a wonderfully help 担当者 at the Wakkanai Tax Bureau, we are officially licensed.
If you read Japanese, you’ll see the license is valid until the end of March next year. For new distilleries in Japan licenses are issued for only 1 year at a time, timed to coincide with the Japanese fiscal year of April 1st - March 31st. As we come up to the end of the first license period, we can apply for a year extension. We do this for the first 3 years. During those first 3 years there is an annual quality check and production volume review. As we pass those in each of the first 3 years, then we’ll receive the more permanent distillation license.
Of course, we went out to celebrate.
As is the natural way, festivities ended with can beers in front of the station.
As we were walking around with a few drinks in us, I thought to capture the real-time mood. Give a listen and enjoy the voices, and in-the-moment, unscripted audio messages from our team.
Yasu, Operations Manager:
Michi, License Project Manager / Marketing:
Taura-san, Senior Distiller:
Javier, Head Distiller:
From next week we’ll start distilling. We’ll spend a month “practicing”, learning the personality of our equipment, and raising the quality to make sure it is above high, high expectations.
From October, we’ll start distilling officially, barreling our first “whiskies”.
Next time you come visit us there will be something to actually taste 🤩!
Lots of love from Wakkanai!