Bartender’s choice: Chita Whisky

When one mentions Suntory’s whisky distilleries, most people think of the Yamazaki distillery in Osaka, which was founded in 1923, making it Japan’s oldest distillery. Another famous distillery is the Hakushu distillery, founded in 1973. I have introduced cocktails made from Hakushu and Yamazaki whiskies in previous articles; however, there is another Suntory distillery with a long history worth mentioning: the Chita distillery in Aichi Prefecture. Founded in 1972, Chita focuses on making grain whisky.

All grain whisky used by Suntory is made in this distillery. The whisky is stored in bourbon, Spanish oak or wine casks. It’s not an exaggeration to say that the taste of Suntory’s blended whiskies is determined in the Chita distillery.

This September, for the first time in 11 years, Suntory released a brand-new product, a single grain whisky simply called Chita after the distillery. Chita is a blend of more than 10 different types of grains, though the final result is mild rather than aggressive and can thus be enjoyed straight as well as with soda, water or as a cocktail component.

According to Shinji Fukuyo, Suntory’s chief blender, Chita whisky pairs excellently with food, particularly traditional Japanese confectioneries (though it’s good with Japanese food in general). Try it out with sushi!

Also, we bartenders are currently busy exploring the usage of Chita in cocktails, one idea which comes out quite nicely is the Chita Velvel Hammer:

20 ml. cointreau

20 ml. heavy cream

10 ml. Chita

10 ml. Kahlua

Pour into Highball, stir and add ice, and enjoy!