Drink the source of Speyside malt
Mamoru Tsuchiya's "Hitotaru" vol.1



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series selected by Mamoru Tsuchiya vol.1

I met single malt whiskey 30 years ago. I received a direct instruction from Mamoru Tsuchiya, a whiskey critic who lived in London at that time.

Still, even in London's bar, single malt was a minor era, and the local common sense that English drinks were beer and Scottish drinks were whiskey was learned from bartenders while drinking London at night. ..


, I've been addicted to single malts and have collected bottles from all Scottish distilleries-at that time 113 -at home.

When I think about it now, I was happy to complete all the items, like an elementary school student who likes Pokemon, but by the time I finished drinking all the bottles, I was more than chasing the number, but the difference in quality. It was realized that knowing was important for deepening whiskey.

Whiskey is a "living processed agricultural product"

As you know, whiskey is a processed agricultural product. Barley malt ( malt ) is saccharified and fermented and distilled in a pot still called a pot still. Malt whiskey is packed in empty bourbon or sherry barrels and aged for at least 3 years for Scotch.

"Single malt whiskey" is a blend of malt whiskeys from the same distillery and bottled. Of these, the one that is packed from one barrel without blending is called "single cask", and the one that is bottled as raw sake without adjusting the alcohol concentration by adding water is called "cask strength".

Since the raw material is an agricultural product, there is a part that depends on the crop every year, the fermentation and saccharification process depends largely on the microorganisms, and the aging process depends largely on the climate and storage environment. Even if you prepare the same recipe every year, you cannot do exactly the same thing in the future.

By the way, grain whiskey is made from grains such as corn and wheat ( grain ) , and is blended with malt whiskey to make "blended whiskey".

There are many well-known brands such as "Johnnie Walker" and "Ballantine" from long ago, and it is the most major type in the world of whiskey.

Whiskey lovers aim for "only 1 barrels of books"

At the distillery, it is the job of the chief blender to manage the huge number of barrels and create the taste and aroma. For example, a brand has a lineup of standard official bottles such as 10 years, 12 years, 18 years, and 21 years. Each year, we will combine barrels of raw sake so that they can be shipped with a stable taste.


, raw sake is a "creature " that matures in the storage. Even if the raw sake is brewed in the same lot, the 1 and 1 barrels have different expressions, different tastes, and different aromas. In sake, it is natural to prepare barrels specially for the appraisal, but whiskey cannot.No one knows what the taste of the barrels prepared this year will be 10 years later, 20 years later


In the

aging 10 years, the unsold sake, which had a hard taste and was not for sale, suddenly became brilliant and attractive after 15 years. That is often the case. After 10 years and 20 years, if you find a barrel with an exceptionally mellow taste, the normal process is to put it up for a show.


, even if it is not for a fair, instead of homogenizing and stabilizing the taste like an official bottle, "If you select and bottle only deliciously aged barrels, you can get the best whiskey." In fact, that is widespread.

Most of the special bottles that the distillery itself puts out in limited quantities and the original bottles that the liquor store buys from the distillery are selected in barrel units.

Buyers of liquor companies drink 30 to 50 barrels at 1 distilleries and buy from them. It is said that they will choose a barrel. As a consumer, the chances of coming into contact with whiskey, which can only be tasted in this "one barrel", are steadily increasing.

Therefore, for whiskey lovers who are enthusiastic about exploration, their current interest is not only the brand and age, but also what kind of "delicious barrel" they can meet. In the last 20 years, the selection of barrel materials and the temperature control technology of the aging chamber have made great strides, and delicious whiskeys that break the conventional wisdom are appearing one after another. be.

What is the "Hitotaru" chosen by whiskey critics

The whiskey that I personally pay attention to now is the 1 barrel selected by Mamoru Tsuchiya, who was named at the beginning. Mr. Tsuchiya is active as a leading expert in whiskey criticism, and also presides over the Whiskey Culture Institute, and is enthusiastic about holding whiskey events and enlightening activities such as qualification. He also makes original bottles.

Why do critics make their own bottles? It seems, but there is a clear reason.

Mr. Tsuchiya talks.

The original bottle was originally designed for the Whiskey Culture Institute-formerly known as the Scotch Culture Institute-for its members. Recently, it is also sold at the "Whiskey Festival" held annually by the institute.

The concept is that there is something interesting that cannot be experienced with commercially available bottles. At distilleries around the world, there are many "valuable sakes" made with our own commitment to raw materials, distillers, and barrels. However, it is hard to get out into the world. In that case, let's make an original bottle with our own and convey its advancedness and fun.

Every year, about 10 to 15 types are lined up, and some bottles are sold out in an instant.

In this series project, we will list the attractive bottles that can be purchased in order, but the first 1 book is "Benromach Single Cask 2008 ".

“Remote tasting

in Japanese and English

Benromach has a long history, with a small distillery founded in 1898 in Fores, a town on the outskirts of Speyside, which is famous for producing whiskey.

However, management has repeated twists and turns, such as changing owners and suspending production for a long time. In the 1980s , it was under the umbrella of the UK's largest distillery group DCL ( Distillers ) , but in 1983 . Closed due to reorganization within the group. Since then, for 10 years, there is raw sake in the aging warehouse, but there is a period of no operation.

© Whiskey Culture Institute

It was GM (Gordon & McFile), a leading local bottler, who helped. 1895 Founded in 1895, GM is known to have been aware of the possibility of single malt from early on.

I never thought that each distillery had its own brand of malt whiskey. I expanded the circle of single malt in the form. By the way, at that time, there was no name for "single malt", but it was called "straight malt".

Benromach, which was rebuilt by GM, resumed operations in 1998 to coincide with the 100 anniversary of its founding. It is a small distillery with only pot stills 2 , and although the production volume is small, it produces only high quality malt whiskey under its own brand.

This is in contrast to the major Speyside companies supplying raw liquor to various brands as a raw material for blended whiskey.

© Whiskey Culture Institute

The characteristic of

construction is that it is a "traditional Speyside style". Currently, most Speyside whiskey is made of non-peat, but the distillery uses floor malting ( barley germinates on the floor) to make in-house wheat . Until the 1960s , it was common practice to use peat (peat: less carbonized coal) . Benromach sticks to the traditional taste and prepares it with light pete.

Benromach has a presence almost like a craft distillery in Speyside's distillery, where production scale is increasing, efficiency is increasing, and division of labor is progressing.

Mr. Tsuchiya was interested in the traditional construction.

I've always been interested in Benromach, who pursues traditional flavors. However, single cask bottles rarely come out. When I took the plunge and negotiated to buy barrels, I got OK.

Benromach uses American white oak bourbon barrels for preparation, but I chose about 5 candidates from the first fill and asked them to send me samples.


, before that sample, I connected it with Mr. Arkart, the 5th president of GM, by Skype, and the other party also did "remote tasting" in front of the same sample. was. Among them, I made the original bottle the one that agreed with Mr. Arkart that this is the best.

© Whiskey Culture Institute

Reproduce the "old Kiyoki Speyside"

On a small scale, only 3 craftsmen work on it and carefully build it. Use good quality barrels. Mr. Tsuchiya says that the method of making like a craft distillery is reflected in its taste.

I see, I thought that Speyside malt about 100 years ago was like this. It has a unique Scotch feel.

Today's Scotch tends to articulate the character of non-peat or heavy-peat, sherry or bourbon casks, but Benromach has a better, more fuzzy nostalgia. there is.

This bottle is so well-balanced that you can't think it's been 8 years old, and you don't feel the alcohol content of 59.9%. It also has the gorgeousness and strength of Speyside malt. The impression is that the good old Speyside has appeared here.

As a Scotch single malt lover, I definitely want to see the taste of Speyside origin with my own tongue.

Behind the Scenes

Since the 2000s, whiskey has been attracting more and more attention in recent years due to the appearance of highball and health consciousness such as low sugar. The person who has gained tremendous trust in the whiskey industry is Mr. Tsuchiya, a whiskey critic and representative of the Whiskey Culture Research Institute ...

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Seller Whiskey Culture Research Institute Co., Ltd.
Product name Benromach
Capacity 700ml
Frequency 59.9 Degree
Distillery year 2008
Bottling year 2016
Shipping schedule After ordering, it will be shipped within 5 business days excluding Saturdays, Sundays, and holidays.
Shipping fee (tax included) Nationwide uniform 1,000 yen


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