JAPAN / OFFICIAL BOTTLING
MIYAGIKYO / YOICHI
Discover the exclusive interview of Tadashi Sakuma, chief blender at Nikka Whisky
During one of his rare visits to France, we had the honour and privilege of meeting Nikka’s chief blender Tadashi Sakuma at the Golden Promise Whisky Bar. An opportunity to talk about Miyagikyo’s 50th anniversary, the new limited editions of Yoichi and Miyagikyo, but also to taste with him old versions of Nikka in the bar of La Maison du Whisky.
Where do Daruma dolls come from?
These Japanese figurines originated from a single man. In the 5th century, an Indian monk named Bodhidarma founded the Chinese school of Zen Buddhism. Legend has it that he remained in a meditative state in the Zazen position at the entrance to a cave for nine years, so long that he eventually lost the use of his limbs. Which explains why the Daruma is depicted without arms or legs, in a round shape. Surprised to find he had fallen asleep during his meditation one day, Bodhidarma decided to punish himself by cutting off his eyelids so that his eyes would also remain open. He threw them far from his body and tea plants grew where they landed. It was not until the 18th century that the Daruma dolls were created, in memory of the monk’s perseverance, to give followers the strength and courage they needed.
The colours of a Daruma
Each figurine corresponds to a different type of wish. Before getting a Daruma, it is worth understanding the different meanings of the colours, which play an important role in achieving your goal. Pink is for wishes related to love, and gold is for fortune, wealth and money in general. White is for happiness in marriage and stability in life. Green brings good health and black protects against misfortune. Finally, red, the colour chosen for our labels, is designed to chase away bad spirits.
Located in Japan, the Mars distillery has a rather unusual, turbulent history.
It was founded by none other than Kiichiro Iwai, the man who instigated the departure for Scotland of the renowned Masataka Taketsuru and more importantly the owner of a spirit company that produces shochu (Japanese eau de vie). The Shinshu Mars distillery is situated in an exceptional location that affords a truly unique whisky. Located at an altitude of 800 metres, in a region that has a particularly harsh climate, the distillery benefits from pure spring water filtered over centuries by the mountains. Another remarkable feature of this distillery is that it only produces whisky during the winter months. The fall in demand during the eighties forced the distillery to close down in 1992, but it was reopened in 2011.
Discover the secrets of Mars’ production and maturation