As part of our Featured Japanese Whisky Distillery and Whisky Maker series, we’ll be introducing the Venture Whisky Ltd. Company today and helping you learn more about the Japanese whisky brands that produce high-quality, luxury whisky. Known as an independent bottler or Ji-Whisky, this quaint, yet prominent, whisky manufacturer comes from a unique background.

Venture Whisky History: Where It All Began

It all started when Ichiro Akuto, a descendent of the Akuto family who owned the once-famous and now-closed Hanyu whisky distillery, utilized his knowledge of whisky making from his family’s own brewery and valuable experience at Suntory’s distillery to establish his whisky company in 2004. Venture Whisky is currently known as the smallest whisky distiller in Japan, but that doesn’t mean it hasn’t been recognized internationally for its exquisite liquor. Even with its small whisky distillery located in Chichibu, Venture’s whiskies continue earning them positive recognition and reviews from all over the world; Venture was even awarded the first-place trophy for Best Japanese Single Cask Malt Whisky 2016 from the World Whiskies Award.

Venture Whisky also houses whiskies passed down from Ichiro Akuto’s family’s Hanyu distillery and remaining stock rescued from the Karuizawa and Kawasaki distilleries. Although these renowned Japanese whisky distilleries have closed down, Venture Whisky continues passing along the treasures that they once created under its signature labels: Ichiro’s Malt and Ichiro’s Choice. Akuto also inherited approximately 400 casks of single malt whiskies, which helped him continue whisky making when he established his business.

(If you’d like to see some of Hanyu’s legendary whisky, check out these blog posts: Hanyu Playing Cards and Ichiro’s Malt Card Series.)

Venture Whisky’s First Distillery: Chichibu Distillery

Chichibu is a city about 62 miles (100km) from Tokyo, and Venture Whisky’s distillery settles just on the outskirts of this city. Due to the pure water from the Arakawa River and the extreme difference in climate change during the various seasons in this area, Akuto believes that this is one of the keys to making the perfect whisky. Since Akuto was born in Chichibu, his knowledge of the land also contributes to the success of his business. Because of the limited production, Venture Whisky liquor products are always high in demand. Some of the whisky produced in Chichibu Distillery include:

(You can find more magnificent whiskies from the Chichibu Distillery here.)

The Future of Venture Whisky

Though Venture Whisky may have a small distillery, Ichiro Akuto has big dreams for his company. Venture Whisky has enough worldwide recognition and awareness to put them at the top with the big leagues such as Suntory and Nikka, but Akuto wants to create his own path when it comes to whisky production; one that is unique to his own whiskies and makes people think of Venture Whisky when they take a sip of Ichiro’s brand whisky.

“If we were interested in just making balanced, easy-to-drink whiskies then we would inevitably have to compete with Suntory and Nikka,” says Yumi Yoshikawa, Venture’s brand ambassador. – From The Guardian

Venture Whisky’s mission is to develop whisky that’s completely different from competitors; whisky that has its own unique, mature taste that isn’t easy to drink or made with entirely balanced flavors. Besides this tremendous goal to create his own niche in the whisky market, Akuto also plans to release two special edition whisky to commemorate the 2020 Tokyo Olympics: one 10-year-old whisky and one rich 30-year-old whisky.

If you’re interested in Ichiro Akuto’s exclusive Venture Whisky unique liquor or want to keep an eye out for their new whisky releases, be sure to come back to Dekanta and browse through our Venture Whisky and Chichibu Archives!

Emily