Japanese whisky brand Suntory has launched a new single-grain whisky called Chita. The whisky made at the Chita distillery, located between the Yamazaki and Hakushu distilleries has always contributed to the Suntory blended whiskies of Hibiki and Kakubin, but this is the first time it has been released as a brand in its own right.
With a lack of distilleries to swap whisky with in order to produce blends, Suntory mastered the approach of producing numerous different whisky styles at its handful of distilleries thanks to using both wooden and stainless steel fermentation tubs, 16 different shaped pot stills between the Yamazaki and Hakushu distilleries, and using different casks too.
It has followed the same approach at Chita, whose single grain is made from US corn and column distilled, producing three different whisky: ‘clean’, ‘new medium’ and ‘heavy’; and three different cask types: American white oak, Spanish oak and Bordeaux casks.
A no age statement, it’s got a lovely creamy body, and displays plenty of vanilla character, from Werther’s Originals to fudge, alongside lemon, corn and straw, before a smattering of spice takes over on the finish.
It does good service in a whisky highball garnished with a strip of pickled ginger, or as an ingredient in other whisky cocktails.
Don’t expect to see a whole new single grain whisky range coming out any time soon, however. ‘Entering the single grain category and creating something different is very difficult,’ said Mike Miyamoto, Suntory whisky’s global brand ambassador. ‘We’re not exploring the single grain category – this is for people who may not drink whisky right now.’
43% abv, £52.20/70cl, Maxxium, 01786 430500