Ichiro's Malt Double Distilleries Review

“The Green Leaves of Summer”

Whisky Review # 867

Country: Japan
Region: North of Tokyo
Brand: Ichiro's Malt Double Distilleries - Leaf Series
Blended at: Chichibu Distillery
Type: Japanese Blended Malt Whisky
Age: NAS
Alcohol By Volume (ABV): 46%
Maturation: Probably a mix of Sherry Wood and Japanese Oak
Chill Filtration: No
Average Price : US$ 260 (April 2020) - Lowest Price: US$ 135 (April 2020)
Price/Quality Ratio: 👎
Buying Advice: 😒Interesting tasting experiment but way too expensive! 


Pale Gold (Natural Colour)


Young, Light, Clean, Floral and a little Edgy. The Alcohol is noticeable. There is a slight Bourbon feel to it but all in all it's certainly not unpleasant.

Main Aromas:

Malted Barley, German Butter Biscuits, Vanilla, Puff Pastry filled with Apricot or Peach, Milk/Hazelnut Chocolate, Green Tea and Cinnamon.

Supportive Aroma Accents:

Heather-Honey, Caramel, Stewed Apples, Green Grapes, Candied Citrus Peel (Orange & Lemon), Floral Soap, Wet Leaves, Wood Shavings, Pepper, Mint and hints of Nail-Polish and Tin Cans.


Young, Light, Bitter-Sweet and pretty Dry. The Alcohol remains quite noticeable and leaves the Malt slightly off-balance. I suspect that this Blend is mostly made with Young Chichibu Spirit. This Ichiro could be so much better with sufficient maturation time.

Main Flavours:

Malted and Toasted Barley, Vanilla, Nectarine, Artificial Sweetener, Wet Grass, Wet Stones and Sand, Milk-Hazelnut Chocolate, Candied Citrus Peel, Cinnamon, Pepper, Menthol and Licorice.

Supportive Flavour Accents:

Heather-Honey, Caramel, Green Apple, Green Papaya, Green Grapes, Mandarin, Charred Oak, Dusty Track, Floral Soap, Ginger, Nutmeg and Tin cans.


Medium-Long, Bitter-Sweet and increasingly Dry. The Alcohol remains present and the Malt can't hide its Youth. But there's certainly potential in this Spirit. It just needs sufficient maturation in good casks. I find Malted & Toasted Barley, Heather-Honey, Vanilla, Charred Oak, Green Apple, Green Papaya, Artificial Sweetener, Candied Citrus Peel, English Breakfast Marmalade, Nectarine, Dusty Track, Pepper, Cinnamon, Nutmeg, Ginger, Menthol, Licorice, Wet Grass and Tin cans.

Drinking Advice:

Added Water does not improve this vatted Malt.

Rating: 84.5

Nose: 21.5 - Taste: 21 - Finish: 21 - Overall: 21

Drinking Experience Neat: Good


This Japanese Whisky is named after Ichiro Akuto, the owner/founder of the Chichibu distillery founded in 2008. He is a grandson of the founder of Hanyu, a distillery that was closed in 2004. Ichiro managed to buy around 400 casks of Hanyu Malt and uses this Whisky a/o in a vatted Blend with Malt from Chichibu. The result is called Ichiro's Malt Double Distilleries. The Hanyu Malt is said to have matured in Ex-Sherry casks while the Chichibu Malt perhaps matured in Japanese Mizunara casks. This information is not officially available though.

Ichiro's Malt Double Distilleries shows the potential of the Chichibu Malt, helped by some older matured Spirit from Hanyu in this case. The latter can't disguise the fact that we're talking bout a Young Whisky here. Not bad for sure but a bit un-balanced and immature. I could imagine it as a nice Summer aperitif. That would be okay at around US$ 50 but thanks to the Japanese Whisky hype you will have to pay a lot more to get a bottle of this Ichiro. The average price is around 5 times as high and there's no way I would spend that kind of money on this Young Japanese vatted Malt. But I will follow this distillery and I hope that one day I can taste a fully matured Chichibu! 


Jan van den Ende                                                                        April 6,2020

Chichibu Distillery

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