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Food & Beverage

Nikka turns off the tap on aged Taketsuru whisky

Dwindling stock forces Japanese distillers to squeeze shipments

Nikka Whisky Distilling's Yoichi distillery in Hokkaido: The company is already limiting shipments as supply dwindles. (Photo by Takeru Goto)

TOKYO -- Nikka Whisky Distilling's last aged products on the market will soon vanish from shelves as surging demand for Japanese whisky dries up casks across the nation.

Taketsuru 25 Years Old (Photo courtesy of Nikka Whisky Distilling)

Nikka will discontinue age-statement Taketsuru Pure Malts -- now available in 17-, 21- or 25-year-old varieties -- in late March. Taketsuru is one of Nikka's signature products, made from a blend of spirits produced at its Yoichi and Miyagikyo distilleries.

The Asahi Group Holdings unit discontinued age-statement Yoichi and Miyagikyo single malts in 2015 because of short supply. Whiskies need to be aged for years before bottling, meaning that producers are now working off stock made when demand for Japanese whisky was much lower.

Nikka is also limiting shipments of non-age-statement Yoichi, Miyagikyo and Taketsuru, and is investing to expand production capacity for future years.

Suntory Holdings, another leading Japanese producer, has discontinued Hibiki 17 Years Old and now sells a limited range and quantity of age-statement whiskies. Kirin Holdings is only selling a portion of its offerings through limited channels.

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