Wednesday, August 24, 2022


The Tomatin Distillery, has announced that it will be releasing and distributing what it describes as “The Worlds rarest Japanese whisky”, from the now closed Shirakawa Distillery.

Shirakawa 1958 (49% ABV) was initially aged in oak barrels, then transferred into ceramic jars at the distillery. When Shirakawa closed, the whisky was put into stainless steel tanks at Takara Shuzo’s factory in Kyushu, where it lay untouched until now.

Shirakawa 1958

The Shirakawa Distillery was built in the Fukushima Prefecture, in 1939 by Daikoku Budoshu and purchased by Takara Shuzo in 1947. Operating for nearly six and a half decades, it produced malt whisky between 1951 -1969, one of the first distilleries in Japan to do so. The vast majority of the whisky produced was used in Takara Shuzo’s flagship ‘King’ blended whisky brand. The Shirakawa Distillery then was demolished in 2003.

Commenting on the news, Stephen Bremner, Managing Director of Tomatin Distillery Co, said: “Tomatin Distillery Co. Ltd had been bought by Takara Shuzo in 1986 and I became fascinated by the story of Shirakawa and its history of whisky production. There had never been an official single malt bottling, and the distillery had long gone, but I couldn’t help wondering what if a part of liquid history lay unearthed. After several in-depth discussions with colleagues at Takara Shuzo the last remaining parcel of Shirakawa was identified in 2019. When Idiscovered that the last remaining stock was distilled in 1958, I was astounded! It was a genuine WOW moment as I realised very quickly that what we were dealing with was extremely rare.”

Limited to 1,500 bottles, Shirakawa 1958, will be available next month from specialist retailers, for a RRP of £25,000.00.

Posted by Steve Rush