The Japanese whiskies have an undeniable originality facilitated by the fact that the companies never trade their malts and grains. Whisky has gradually replaced the sake. The consecration came from 2000 when the Japanese brands began to win international blind tasting competitions.
Isouji Akuto is one of these pioneers, from a centuries-old family of sake distillers. In 1941, he starts a production of whisky in Hanyu. The plant ceases the distillations in 2000. When it was dismantled in 2005, the grandson of the founder, Ichiro Akuto, set aside the best casks from which he made the bottling from the following year.
This Hanyu Ichiro single malt whisky is of excellent quality and its labels make it a collectible : they are illustrated with the 54 elements of a card series including two jokers added in 2014 to close the set. Each of the values excepted the ultimate joker is edited in 200 to 650 bottles indicating the cask number and the distillation year from 1985 to 2000.
Very few amateurs attempted to build a complete collection. A full set is estimated HK $ 1.8M for sale by Bonhams in Hong Kong August 28, lot 196.
A collection of the four aces was sold for HK $ 196K including premium by Bonhams on February 6, 2015. An ace of spades was sold for HK $ 85K including premium by Bonhams on August 15, 2014.