Business / Corporate

Kirin to release two new whisky brands

JIJI

Kirin Brewery Co. on Tuesday announced the release of two new domestic whisky brands.

The Fuji and Riku whiskies will be the first additions to the Kirin Holdings Co. unit’s lineup of the liquor in some 15 years.

The move follows widespread supply shortages of domestic whisky due to the popularity of highballs, or whisky mixed with soda. Sales of aged whiskies are being suspended as a result of the spike in demand.

Kirin hopes the new brands will help expand its market share in Japan and abroad.

Fuji uses a whisky from a distillery in Shizuoka Prefecture and has a rich, sweet aroma. The product was named after Mount Fuji, which straddles Shizuoka and Yamanashi prefectures, in anticipation of the liquor being exported to the West.

Fuji is targeted at restaurants, with a price tag of around ¥6,000 per 700-milliliter bottle. The whisky will go on sale on April 21.

The Riku whisky blends whiskies from overseas distilleries and lends itself to being prepared in a variety of ways, including mixed with water. It will go on sale May 19 at a price of around ¥1,500 per 500-milliliter bottle.

Liquor companies are ramping up their production facilities and refining their whisky products amid the shortage.

“We’ve bolstered our facilities and are prepared to put all our effort into restarting sales,” a Kirin representative said.

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