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Hombo Shuzo, the company behind Mars Distillery, produces many different styles of alcohol, starting with shochu in the early 1900s. They really started producing whisky in 1949 with the help of Mr. Kiichiro Iwai, an icon in the Japanese Whisky world. Shinshu is the main distillery which is in the Nagano Alps and Japan’s highest whisky distillery. The second is the Tsunuki distillery in Kagoshima, an island in the south of Japan.

Mars Shinshu’s blue-labeled Iwai (pronounced E-Y) is kicked up to 45% ABV for further cocktailing versatility. Iwai 45 garnered the #19 spot on Whisky Advocate’s list of Top 20 Whiskies of 2020.


Blended Japanese Whisky produced at Mars Shinshu in Nagano. Blend of 70% corn and 30% malted barley.

Aged between 2–5 years in ex-bourbon barrels. 45% ABV

A nose of chocolate-covered shortbread precedes a palate of brown sugar and ripe pear with confident structure; a whisper of red fruit appears on the finish.

  • Bottle Size1.80 L
  • DistilleryMars Shinshu
  • StyleJapanese Whisky
  • RegionJapan
  • AgeNA
  • ABV45%
  • Country of OriginJapan
  • Cask StrengthNo
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