Hakushu ‘white sandbank’ was built by Suntory in 1973, named after the white sandstones that follow the small streams and rivers across the surrounding area. Hakushu was built with the intention of building the largest single malt distillery in the world and succeeded.
During the 1980s Hakushu was producing an estimated 30 million litres of single malt spirit a year an incredible amount dwarfing all Scotch whisky, Irish and American whiskey production. The reason for the vast production was Suntory needed a super distillery to help out its other much older Yamazaki distillery as demand for Japanese whisky post-WW2 was now at an all-time high.
In 1981 an extension was added named Hakushu East with the older part named Hakushu West. The end of the ’80s saw a dramatic drop in demand for Japanese whisky and saw the closure of Hakushu West.
Hakushu now only runs Hakushu East but the West still stands. Located at the Mountain of Kaikomagatake in the Japanese Alps Hakushu is the highest distillery in Japan at 2300ft. Hakushu has a capacity of 4 million litres.
Hakushu distillery is open to visitors.
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