Located in Miyata city, Nagano prefecture, the Mars Shinshu distillery was initially established in 1995 but closed in 2002 due to soft demand for Japanese whisky – which certainly isn’t the case now! The distillery reopened in 2011 producing a number of blended whiskies under the Mars whisky label. It’s one of the highest altitude whisky distilleries in production globally – positioned on Mt. Komagatake, 798 metres above sea level. Introduced to the market in July 2015, Mars Maltage “Cosmo” is a homage to the distillery’s location, referring to the sky that can be seen at night when looking out from Mt. Komagatake. It’s a smooth and elegant whisky which combines malt whiskies distilled and aged at Shinshu with single malts imported from Scotland. This is actually an unusual practice because Japanese distillers traditionally do not exchange whisky production or blend with other distilleries, as is typical in the blended Scotch whisky industry.
Deriving from the blending of different barrels, Kasei, which means Mars in Japanese, is a whisky of malt and grain imbued with softness and roundness. A true ambassador of Japanese style whiskies, Kasei embodies the poetry of Japan,where notes of white flowers fuse with aromas of ripe fruit. It leaves in its wake a light touch of smoke that gives this whisky a particular character. Intense and rich on the finish.