BOOZE, Japan, Ronin, Sunday's Grocery, Yardbird • Nov 11, 2017
Karuizawa Distillery was located in Miyota, a town south of the active volcano Mount Asama, in Nagano. While it was the smallest distillery in Japan, it produced some of the most expensive bottles of whisky in the world. In 2015, a bottle of 1960 Karuizawa was sold at Bonhams for a record price of US$118,500.
The whisky distilled at Karuizawa were produced in small batches and aged in sherry casks from Spain. The water used in production flowed through lava because of its proximity to Mount Asama, giving each whisky a distinct flavor. Karuizawa Distillery was inaugurated in 1955 and its production methods followed strict, traditional guidelines to ensure the highest quality whisky. While bottles of Karuizawa are now highly sought after, these methods proved to be commercially insufficient, which led to the end of production in 2000. The distillery fully shut down in 2011 and was razed and destroyed in November 2015.
While the distillery was permanently closed to the public after October 25, 2015, we got the final look at Karuizawa Distillery before it was completely dismantled. The shoot at Karuizawa took place from sunrise to sunset to showcase the defunct distillery during different times of the day.
Karuizawa Distillery after sunrise:
Karuizawa Distillery Interior:
Karuizawa Distillery at sunset: