This article was produced in partnership with Tenjaku Whiskey.
Water is the lifeblood of exceptional whisky. It influences the character, smoothness, and finish of the spirit––Mother Nature’s very own touch.
Considering that good water is essential to making good whisky, the skyrocketing popularity of Japanese whisky should come as no surprise. The island nation is home to some of the purest water on Earth, and it’s considered a sacred part of Japanese culture. But if water is the soul of the whisky, its heart lies with mentality of Japanese master distillers––who treat their craft as an exquisite art form.
Over the past few years, whisky aficionados have been clamoring to get their hands on these bottles. Unfortunately, inflated prices and scarce availability has made it challenging to get a taste of Japan’s unique whisky culture––until now. Introduced this past year, Tenjaku is among the fastest growing brands in the category, and it’s not hard to see why.
Nestled in the fertile Kofu Basin and surrounded by towering peaks including Japan’s sacred Mount Fuji, Tenjaku Whisky is accomplishing something exceedingly rare––making authentic and premium Japanese blended whisky that is both accessible and affordable.
Like all great whisky, it begins with the water. Tenjaku Whisky is distilled in the city of Fuefuki, which sits atop pure natural spring water that flows down from the Misaka mountain range. Sourced from 250 meters below the surface, the water is naturally filtered through porous volcanic rock. This process results in moderate mineral content and velvety-smooth, slightly alkaline characteristics––perfect for distilling an easy-to-drink whisky with well-balanced flavor.
Of course, there’s a lot more to this whisky than the water. Tenjaku’s master distiller is one of the most renowned names in the Japanese whisky and winemaking world––Kenji Watanabe. Having made numerous award-winning whiskies and wines since the 1990s, Watanabe brings to Tenjaku both a wealth of experience and a dedicated philosophy, “Be generous with time for your craft.”
To create Tenjaku’s Blended Whisky, Watanabe began by carefully selecting unprocessed whiskies with a mash bill of 86% corn and 14% barley. Next, he double copper pot distilled the whisky using their pristine natural spring water. To finish it off, the whisky was aged using heavily seasoned Kentucky bourbon barrels. Over the course of countless tasting and smelling sessions, Watanabe used sophisticated techniques and past experience to create a clean, timeless blend of three-year, five-year, and six-year whiskies.
Tenjaku’s Blended Whisky hits your tongue with a smooth and pleasant taste, while its unique mellowness and sweet aftertaste make it best enjoyed on the rocks. Highballs also pair well with Tenjaku––the soda bubbles bursting with a sweet, yet mildly smokey aroma.
Not surprisingly, Wantanabe’s efforts have once again generated praise from critics. The Tenjaku Blended Whisky has been recognized with a 91 Rating (Exceptional) from the Beverage Testing Institute. In addition to the exceptional rating, BTI awarded Tenjaku with 2020’s Best Japanese Blended Whisky Award. The honor is a testament to Tenjaku’s superior quality and unique characteristics––affirming its spot among the premium Japanese whisky brands.