Collection Chichibu-Japanese Whisky

Venture Whiskey's Chichibu distillery opened in 2008, when it was Japan's first independent distillery in over three decades. Their success since then cannot be underestimated. The distillery and its founder, Ichiro Akuto, are known both inside and outside of Japan for producing some of the finest Japanese whiskey available today.

The Chichibu Distillery was founded by Venture Whisky, whose founder, Ichiro Akuto, comes from a family that has been producing alcohol for 21 generations. Akuto Shuzo started making sake in Chichibu, Saitama as early as 1625.
Akuto-san's grandfather is responsible for the company's transition to whiskey. Isouji Akuto moved the company's headquarters to Hanyu, also in Saitama, in 1941. Akuto Shuzo was renamed Toa Shuzo and in 1948 the company started its whiskey business with "Golden Horse", an imported whiskey. Later, of course, Hanyu started distilling his own whiskey.

Although Ichiro-san initially had no intention of taking over the family business, he quit his job as a salesman at Suntory at the age of 28 to help out in Toa Shuzo's whiskey business from 1995. However, that didn't last long - due to a downturn in the Japanese whiskey market, Toa Shuzo declared bankruptcy in 2000. Four years later the company and its assets, including whiskey stocks, were sold outright.

As the overall outlook for whiskey in Japan was poor, the new owners had no interest in Hanyu Distillery's stocks. They planned to dispose of them. Ichiro-san founded Venture Whiskey to keep the fruits of his family's labors - both the whiskey and the equipment - from going to waste.

With the support of Fukushima-based Sasanokawa Shuzo, Venture Whiskey's move proved crucial to the Japanese craft whiskey scene. It eventually led to the iconic Card Series and provided Chichibu Distillery with an arsenal of aged whiskeys from which to blend.

Ichiro-san also believes it is imperative to replenish the supply of whiskey so future generations can enjoy it too. At Venture Whiskey, he founded Chichibu Distillery to ensure that Japanese craft whiskey would continue to flow for many years to come.