You’d have to be pretty well versed in Japanese whiskiology to have heard much about the Eigashima distillery which is nonetheless the oldest whisky maker in Japan in one sense, they got a whisky making license back in 1919 before even Suntory, although it did not start making whisky at the time.
The current distillery, located in Hyogo prefecture near Kobe city was opened in 1984, they actually focus mostly on sake and shochu (their lineup is very good by the way). They do however make whisky on the side, but their production is so small (they spend about a month two each year on it with only four people working on it, making them one of the smallest whisky distillery in Japan), and their distribution network is not nearly as big as that of Suntory or Nikka so they are what the Japanese call Ji-Whisky (area whisky or local whisky) makers.
Most of their whisky is a blend of their own with a bit of American grain whisky added. This whisky is perfectly fine to drink, if you want to try, we have it here. However, recently Eigashima has been experimenting with their very own Single Malt. First released in 2007, only a few thousand bottles are released every year and called Akashi.
We at dekanta were lucky enough to get our hands on this single malt, not easely found anywhere outside Japan. We can best decribe this whisky as being as light and smooth, with caramel, toffee and vanilla being words that come to mind. Finish is medium, on overall it is really quite enjoyable, and it is certainly as exotic as Japanese whiskies can get! Give it a try.