Kujira means “whale” in Japanese. The whale is a symbol of generosity and peace. Long plagued by war, the Ryukyu Islanders consider the whale, the largest creature in nature and prolific in the Pacific waters surrounding the island, as the guardian of peace and nature.
[KUJIRA Ryukyu Whisky Series] is a collection of new make whiskies jointly launched by the representative distillers in Okinawa, Japan. The KUJIRA whiskies were saccharified, fermented, and distilled with 100% Indica rice and black Koji unique to the area and then aged in oak casks to achieve a unique deep amber whisky. The Ryukyu Islands are a subtropical archipelago at the southernmost tip of Japan. Its all-year-round hot and humid climate accelerates the maturation of whisky several times faster than in a temperate climate, thus producing a fuller and rounder body that accentuates the unique aroma of the Indica rice.
Spirits are products of their native environment. Scotland is rich in high-quality barley and has become a pioneer and major producer of malt whisky, while the United States has made Bourbon whisky a world popular drink thanks to its production of corn. Likewise, rice is Japan’s primary staple food and an important symbol of its culture. In ancient times, the Ryukyu Islanders distilled spirits and offered them as contributes to the royal court; ever since the beginning of the modern age, “taruzake,” sake aged in oak casks, has become a popular drink with American soldiers based in Okinawa. It is also aptly known as the Ryukyu Whisky.
KUJIRA Ryukyu Whisky, a new type of spirit born out of the unique climate and brewing technique of the Ryukyu Islands, will surely become a mainstay in the world of whisky.