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Amber Beverage UK to launch five artisanal Japanese Whiskies in the UK

Amber Beverage UK (ABUK) is launching five Japanese whiskies, all of them new to the UK. The company is distributing two acclaimed Japanese brands - Akashi and Togouchi. Each of these ranges comprises exceptional liquids with unusual taste profiles which will be unveiled at The Whisky Show in September.

Amber Beverage UK markets the whiskies on behalf of the European distributor, Whiskies du Monde. The Togouchi range includes highly unusual whiskies that have been finished in beer and sake casks.

Tina Connolly, Senior Brand Manager at ABUK, said: "We are proud to be marketing and selling these two iconic Japanese whisky brands. Akashi and Togouchi are artisanal brands that each offer interesting and exciting whisky expressions.

"Japanese whiskies are distinctively different and designed to be consumed in a way that differs from traditional spirits in this sector. These spirits are designed to be enjoyed as light, fresh, long drinks, a style that is particular to Japanese whiskies. We believe that this contemporary, lighter style of whisky and of serve will appeal to whisky aficionados and collectors as well as to those who are novice whisky consumers. The new Japanese expressions being launched now bring an injection of excitement and new interest to the whisky sector."

Togouchi Whiskies

Amber Beverage UK is representing the Togouchi Whisky brand. The Togouchi brand includes four expressions that are new to the UK: Togouchi Beer Cask (40% ABV), Togouchi Sake Cask (40% ABV), Togouchi Pure Malt (40% ABV) and Togouchi Single Malt (43% ABV). These join three existing UK SKUs: Togouchi Premium (40% ABV), Togouchi 9 YO (40% ABV) and Togouchi 15 YO (43.8%).

This is a high-end, artisanal Japanese whisky brand produced by Sakurao Brewery & Distillery which is based in Hatsukaichi, a small distillery in southern Japan. Founded in 1918, the distillery has been producing sake and other liquors for over a century and began creating whisky in 1990.

The elegant 70cl bottle design reflects the design of the company's Shochu jars. These are innovative expressions of whisky, each one of which is distinctive. They are distilled near to the Seto coastline and aged underground in the Osorakan Mountain, creating a range that is complex and artisanal. Togouchi Premium Blended Whisky is available through Waitrose at £44.50 and other SKUs in the Togouchi brand range are priced at up to £160.

Suggested Togouchi Whisky serves:

Togouchi Old Fashioned

50ml Togouchi Premium

5 ml Sparkling water

2 Dashes Angostura bitters

1 Sugar cube

Orange zest to garnish

Place the sugar cube in an Old-Fashioned glass and spray it with the angostura bitters. Pour in the sparkling water and grind the sugar until dilutes. Add a large ice cube and half the Togouchi Premium Whisky. Stir gently for a few seconds. Add the remainder of the whisky and garnish with orange zest.

Togouchi Fizz

40ml Togouchi Premium Whisky

20mil Lemon juice

Orange soda

Fill and Old-Fashioned glass with ice. Pour in the Togouchi Premium Whisky, followed by the lemon juice and top up with orange soda. Stir gently.

Akashi Whiskies

Amber Beverage UK is also distributing Akashi whiskies including one expression that is new to the UK - Akashi Blended Sherry Cask (50% ABV).

These join three other Akashi SKUs: Akashi Blended (40% ABV), Akashi Single Malt (46% ABV), and Akashi Single Malt Sherry Cask 5 YO (50% ABV).

The export whisky industry is relatively new in Japan. The distillery which makes Akashi, the Eigashima Distillery, was founded in 1888, and is owned by one of the country's oldest and most distinguished Sake producers. The Eigashima company's own history dates to the 1700s. It wasn't until the early 20th century that Eigashima Distillery, based in the coastal city of Akashi, an area known for its fine spring water and fertile fields, was granted a licence to produce whisky. However, the first whisky was distilled in 1984.

Unusually, this distillery produces whisky during only one month of the year. The skill of the master distillers produces a range of exhilarating, light, fresh whiskies, which are delicate and sophisticated. These are intended to be enjoyed in the way that Japanese people drink whisky, as long drinks served in a highball glass with water and ice or in contemporary cocktails.

The whiskies are stored before release for between 3-8 years mostly in oak casks previously used for bourbon, sherry, wine, or sake. Malt whiskies are distilled in pot stills and made from malted barley mash whilst grain whiskies are distilled in a continuous still from a mash of malted barley and unmalted cereals.

The bottles are 50cl. Akashi Blended Whisky is available through Waitrose priced at £33 and other SKUs in the Akashi collection are priced at up to £135.

Suggested Akashi Whisky serves:

Akashi Sherry

40ml Akashi Blended

15ml Brandy

30cl Cranberry juice

Shake all the ingredients vigorously with ice and serve in a tumbler with ice.

Jinja Tea

40ml Akashi Blended

30cl Green mint tea

20ml Lemon juice

10ml Ginger syrup

Fill a chilled highball glass with ice; add all the ingredients and stir gently. Garnish with mint leaves.

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