Mars 'Iwai 45' Blended Japanese Whisky, Japan

Mars 'Iwai 45' Blended Japanese Whisky, Japan


The Hombo family, founder of Mars, began producing shochu in 1909, expanding their portfolio over the years to eventually include their most popular product, whisky. They obtained their whisky license in 1949 with the help of their advisor, Mr. Kiichiro Iwai, an icon in the rise of Japanese whisky.

Currently, Mars has two distilleries and an additional aging site. Mars Shinshu, the main distillery, is tucked away at 2,625 ft in the Nagano Alps, making it Japan’s highest whisky distillery. Nagano’s heavy snowfall and temperate climate provide an abundance of soft and delicate glacier water for use in this dynamic range of both blended and single malt expressions.

The 'Iwai 45' bottling is a blended Japanese whisky from Mars Shinshu in Nagano, Japan

  • Distilled from 70% corn and 30% malted barley
  • Aged between 2–5 years in ex-bourbon barrels
  • A nose of chocolate-covered shortbread precedes a palate of brown sugar and ripe pear with confident structure; a whisper of red fruit appears on the finish
  • #19 on Whisky Advocate’s list of Top 20 Whiskies of 2020
  • 45% ABV

Mars Shinshu’s blue-labeled Iwai (pronounced E-Y) is kicked up to 45% ABV for further cocktailing versatility.