KANEKOU Okinawa Whisky is a new one-of-a-kind Okinawan whisky produced by the Shinzato Distillery, the oldest family-run distillery in Okinawa. This venerable distillery has faithfully followed its motto “Wajo Ryoshu” (translated to “good wine brewed in the spirit of harmony”) for hundreds of years since its inception. Continuing in the same tradition of creating “harmony,” i.e., forming a pleasing and consistent whole, the current seventh-generation owner and master blender Naoya Shinzato created Kanekou Whisky by blending three types of whisky – malt, wheat, and rice whisky (Ryukyu Whisky). This original blend gives rise to an aromatic and rounded taste unique to spirits produced on a subtropical island.
Kanekou blends exclusively with malt and wheat whisky aged three years or more, and rice whisky aged in sherry casks for more than 8 years. The Ryukyu Whisky is made entirely from rice and aged in oak casks in Okinawa’s subtropical climate. The hot and humid climate accelerates the cask maturation process while the gentle breeze from the Pacific Ocean adds a touch of subtropical flavor.
The label “Kanekou” denotes the historical significance and the long legacy of the Shinzato Distillery. Established in 1846, the Shinzato Distillery is the oldest existing distillery in Okinawa and holds the distinction of being among the first licensed producers of ‘awamori’ in the ancient era of the Ryukyu Kingdom (1429-1879). Awamori is a traditional Okinawan spirit dating back to more than 500 years; it was a prestigious beverage enjoyed by the nobles of the Ryukyu Kingdom as well as a common tribute paid to the Qing Dynasty and the Tokugawa shogunate. The Shinzato Distillery operated at that time under the name “Kanekou,” from which the Kanekou Whisky label originated.
Tasting Notes Nose: Aromas of nectar, sweet cream, citrus, pineapple and other tropic fruit. Palate: Flavours of citrus, ginger candy and minerals. Finish: A long finish with lingering sweetness.