Saturday, December 12, 2020


The recently formed Karuizawa Distillers Inc, has today announced plans for a new distillery, which aims is to make the best Japanese single malt whisky, in the most environmentally friendly way possible, whilst honouring and protecting the legacy of the Karuizawa name.

The new Komoro Distillery, will be built at 910 metres above sea-level at the base of Mount Asama, and will be the highest distillery in Japan.

Plans for the new Komoro Distillery

Karuizawa Distillers Inc, which was founded by Karuizawa hotel-owners and residents, husband and wife team, Koji and Yoshie Shimaoka, has also appointed former Kavalan whisky maker, Ian Chang as vice president and master blender/distiller for the new distillery.

The Komoro Distillery, aims to establish itself as a new benchmark in Japanese whisky. The state-ofthe-art contemporary distillery, in the north of Komoro, which was designed by architect Akira Sogo, is situated just 800 metres from the abundant water source, ‘Noma’. The site will comprise the distillery, visitor centre and a world class ‘whisky academy’.

Commenting on the news, Ian Chang, said: “I am very excited to be able to continue my passion for whisky-making in such a well-respected whisky market as Japan. My late mentor, of 12 years, Dr Jim Swan, always said that whisky-making is about the perfect fusion of the right people in the right place, at the right time. I know that with the incredible team we have in place, the abundant local natural resources, and the commitment from the local government, we can bring a brand-new chapter of world-class whisky-making back to the Karuizawa region.”

The Komoro Distillery, is due to commence construction in early 2021, with plans to start distillation in Spring 2022.

Posted by Steve Rush