Fuji is a storied distillery that earns its name for a distinctly relevant reason: It’s the closest distillery to Japan’s Mt. Fuji, mere miles away from the base of the iconic peak. Fuji Single Grain Whiskey is a blend of three different grain whiskeys produced at the distillery.
Per the distillery, “those different grain whiskeys are distilled in three different methods and possess their own unique flavor profiles”:
• Bourbon style: using beer column and doubler stills, high rye content in the mashbill
• Canadian style: using a kettle still in a batch process, creating a rich profile
• Scotch style: using five different column stills, with continuous distillation, for a lighter style
Presented with no age statement, we were fortunate to taste this unique single grain whiskey, just now launching for the first time in the U.S., via Zoom, guided by Fuji’s master distiller Jota Tanaka.
The nose is gentle but grain-forward, providing a modest aromatic profile that hints only tangentially at fruit elements, more charred barrel notes drowning out the stone fruit, slightly syrup-laced, underneath. The palate shifts gears completely. Here fruit wholly takes over the experience. So many grain whiskeys have a tired quality of doughy breakfast cereal that dominates the palate, but Fuji feels incredibly lively and focused on its apple and pear elements, notes of brown sugar and butterscotch — touched lightly with florals — dominating completely. Much more overtly enjoyable than your typical grain whiskey bottling — even most very well-aged ones — Fuji proves once again that Japan knows its way not just around distilling but also blending. Exceptional stuff.