Shibui Brings Its Spin On Japanese Whisky To American Consumers

By Robert Ham / January 14, 2021

Lauren & Rachel Simmons, the sisters behind the recently launched IND Beverages, have joined forces with The Whiskey Dog CEO Nicholas M. Pollacchi to bring Japanese whisky to American consumers with the importing of the brand Shibui.

Sourcing whisky from four separate Japanese distilleries, Shibui unveiled their first expressions—nine whiskies that includes a 30 year old single grain matured in ex-bourbon, sherry, and European virgin white oak casks and their Grain Select whisky, which was matured in ex-bourbon, oloroso sherry and mizunara oak casks.

Shibui range

The range of Shibui whiskies (image via Shibui)

According to information from this new brand, the group behind it visited dozens of distilleries throughout Japan and collected samples of over 1,400 whiskies from around the globe to help drive their process to create their inaugural releases. At the end, Shibui partnered with three Okinawa distilleries—Shinzato Shunzo, Kumensen, and Masahiro—and a fourth located in Niigata.

Shibui’s Niigata Range, which includes their Grain Select, Pure Malt Whisky, and a 10-year-old Pure Malt, features a blend of matured whisky from the lowlands of Scotland with Japanese whiskies from Niigata. The Okinawa Range, all single grain whiskies aged from eight years to 30 years, are pure Japanese whiskey created using black Koji and Indica rice, native to Japan.

Shibui’s new range of whiskies are already available at retailers throughout the U.S., with prices ranging from $49.99 SRP for their Shibui Grain Select to $1,069 for their Shibui Single Grain 30-Year-Old. Official tasting notes for each release are below.

GRAIN SELECT

  • Aroma: Light and floral bouquet, gentle cereal notes with a soft sweetness. Remarkably complex.
  • Palate: A sunburst of bright tropical fruits and coconut, met with a floral across the palate and a peppery sweet finish.
  • Cask Maturation: Ex-bourbon, oloroso sherry & mizunara oak
  • ABV: 43%
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PURE MALT

  • Aroma: Candied walnut, chocolate covered raisins and maple syrup, followed by soft, malty cereal notes
  • Palate: Amaretto biscuit, chocolate and coffee, with delicate spice notes.
  • Cask Maturation: Ex-bourbon, oloroso sherry & mizunara oak
  • ABV: 43%

SINGLE GRAIN SMALL BATCH 8YR OLD

  • Aroma: Grilled pineapple a la mode
  • Palate: Banana Fosters and grilled pineapple across the tongue, met with a beautiful sweet toasted oak and spice.
  • Cask Maturation: 100% sherry casks – manzanilla & fino
  • ABV: 40%

SINGLE GRAIN 10YR OLD BOURBON BARREL

  • Aroma: Rich and fruity with bright vanilla bean
  • Palate: Crème brûlée and piña colada glide over this tropical island of a dram. It grips the mouth with a long, sweet and elegant finish with hints of a pepper and oak.
  • Cask Maturation: 100% ex-bourbon casks
  • ABV: 40%

SINGLE GRAIN 10YR OLD WHITE OAK

  • Aroma: Tropical fruit salad and whipped cream
  • Palate: Pineapple and mango, vanilla ice cream and caramel sauce. Pair with a light cigar or a small charcuterie board.
  • Cask Maturation: 100% European virgin white oak
  • ABV: 43%

PURE MALT 10YR OLD

  • Aroma: Rich coffee and chocolate, raisins and plums, met with cereal
  • Palate: Notes of malt and dried fruit, cinnamon and white pepper
  • Cask Maturation: Ex-bourbon, oloroso sherry & mizunara oak
  • ABV: 43%

SINGLE GRAIN 15YR OLD SHERRY OAK

  • Aroma: Spiced fruits and milk chocolate
  • Palate: Caramel covered tropical fruits, whipped cream and macadamia nuts
  • Cask Maturation: 100% sherry casks – manzanilla & fino
  • ABV: 43%

SINGLE GRAIN 18YR OLD SHERRY OAK

  • Aroma: Milk chocolate, followed by a soft cereal note and caramelized walnuts.
  • Palate: Delicate notes of chocolate covered red cherries, Madagascan vanilla bean and black licorice are met on the finish with soft, sweet oak notes and a nuttiness
  • Cask Maturation: 100% sherry casks – manzanilla & fino
  • ABV: 40%
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30 YR OLD SINGLE GRAIN

  • Aroma: Cinnamon topped peaches and cream, earl grey tea with softer notes of chocolate and pecan.
  • Palate: Tropical fruit, raw honey and banana are met by bergamot and coconut with a drying spiced oak finish
  • Cask Maturation: Ex-bourbon, sherry & European virgin white oak
  • ABV: 43%