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Fuji Gotemba Whisky

Nestled at the base of the iconic Mount Fuji in Japan, the Fuji Gotemba Distillery stands as a testament to the harmonious blend of nature, craftsmanship, and technology. The distillery, situated in a locale that is both aesthetically majestic and environmentally advantageous, has been crafting whisky that speaks of its terrain and the skilled hands that mould its creation since 1973. The presence of Mount Fuji is not merely a scenic backdrop but plays a pivotal role in the distinctive features of the whiskies produced here.

Fuji Gotemba Distillery operates under the umbrella of the Kirin Group and is positioned about 620 metres above sea level, availing itself of a cooler climate, which is optimal for whisky maturation. The proximity to Mount Fuji also allows access to a bounty of high-quality, soft, natural spring water, which is integral in whisky production. This water, filtered through layers of volcanic rock, imparts a unique character to the spirits, providing a delicate, smooth profile that is synonymous with Fuji Gotemba whiskies.

Whisky production at Fuji Gotemba is characterised by a fascinating interplay of traditional methods and innovative technologies. It maintains a vast array of stills, including pot stills and patent stills, which allows for the production of a varied range of whisky styles. The distillery prides itself on the creation of both malt and grain whiskies, producing single malts that are elegantly fragrant and gently smoky. The whisky matured here is often characterised by a light and sweet profile with subtle complexities, well-regarded by whisky connoisseurs and casual drinkers alike.

One of the remarkable aspects of Fuji Gotemba's whiskies is their versatility and the wide array of expressions available. The distillery produces everything from light and crisp grain whiskies to rich and complex single malts. The diversity in production styles, yeast strains, and fermentation periods further allows a vast spectrum of flavours to be explored. This, paired with careful cask selection and maturation processes, leads to a compelling lineup of expressions that resonate with the ethereal nature of their geographic origin.

Environmental consciousness is also woven into the operations at Fuji Gotemba. The cool climate not only facilitates slow maturation of the whiskies, enhancing their flavours, but also promotes energy efficiency in the production processes. The distillery demonstrates a commitment to sustainability, utilising the spent grains (draff) as animal feed and repurposing distilled lees and pot ale into biogas and liquid fertilisers, aligning its practices with a circular economy model.

Fuji Gotemba Distillery’s whiskies serve as a liquid journey through the lush landscapes of the Fuji region, providing a sip that is deeply rooted in its local environment and crafted through a lens of meticulous Japanese craftsmanship. Each bottle encapsulates the tranquillity of the surroundings, the purity of the spring water, and the exacting standards of Japanese whisky production. For enthusiasts venturing into Japanese whisky, Fuji Gotemba offers not just a drink, but an immersive experience that intertwines the spirit with the serene and powerful presence of Mount Fuji.

As the global whisky community continues to recognise and celebrate Japanese whisky, the Fuji Gotemba Distillery stands firm, a quiet yet formidable entity, continuing its journey of crafting exquisite whiskies under the watchful gaze of the magnificent Mount Fuji.

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