Founded in 2004 by Ichiro Akuto, and operational from 2008, this whisky was the first new Japanese distillery since 1973. Ichiro's Malt Wine Wood Reserve includes malt distilled at the now-closed Hanyu distillery. This was matured including a finishing period in French oak ex-wine casks vatted and bottled at Chichibu. Nose: Starts with strong red wine notes, oak wood. Later more red fruits & berries then wine, dark chocolate. Later some orange flavours shows up. Very rich nose! Palate: Tingling sensation at first, then wood, spicy with peppery edge, nuts, chocolate, red fruits. Not exactly wine influenced. Finish: Quite long. Malty, stays hot spicy with peppers, bittersweet with long fading gentle wood notes.