Cellar Trends brings Japanese whiskies to UK through new deals

Akashi japanese whisky

A selection of Japanese whiskies is now available in the UK through a new deal for leading drinks distributor Cellar Trends.

It has added leading whisky brands Akashi and Togouchi whiskies to its portfolio ahead of taking on another brand, Yamazakura, later this year. It has also taken on Japanese rum Ryoma.

Also new to Cellar Trends’ portfolio is the Rebel Yell range of American whiskeys, comprising the bourbon, the Reserve and the rye, on behalf of Luxco. Alongside the launch of new packaging, the brand will be built further and promoted to a new target market of “millennials” aged 18 to 34.

They expand the existing whisky portfolio at Cellar Trends which already handles Douglas Laing Scottish Remarkable Regional Malts, Jefferson’s Bourbon and Uisce Beatha Irish Whiskey.

With American, Japanese and malt whisky all in areas of growth, Cellar Trends is committed to delivering extensive rise in volume and distribution for its whisky portfolio throughout 2016.

It will be distributing Akashi 40% ABV single malt and 40% ABV blended whisky for the White Oak distillery, which is well-known for producing malt whiskies on a very small scale, located in the small city of Akashi.

Cellar Trends will be distributing three whiskies from Chugoku Jozo near the city of Hiroshima: 40% ABV Togouchi Premium, 40% ABV Togouchi 12 Years Old and 43.8% ABV Togouchi 18 Years Old.

Joining the portfolio later this year, Yamazakura Japanese Whisky was created at the historic Sasanokawa Shuzo distillery and is matured for 16 years in ex-bourbon barrels. This very limited release gets its name from two Japanese symbols: “Yama”, meaning mountain, and “Sakura” referring to cherry trees, symbolising ephemeral beauty.

Also new to the portfolio is Ryoma Japanese rum from the Kikusui distillery, made from freshly pressed sugar cane grown on the island of Shikoku and aged for seven years in oak barrels.

Cellar Trends’ group marketing manager Katie Warren said: “Over the last decade, Cellar Trends has gained excellent experience within the whisky category, working to establish and ignite the Japanese whisky category with Suntory Japanese whiskies, and laying foundations for growth for Gruppo Campari’s Wild Turkey Bourbon.

“We are excited to use this experience to help step-change the performance of our new Japanese and bourbon brands.

“Together with our existing whisky portfolio, where we delivered universal distribution and volume growth in 2015, it is perfect timing for Cellar Trends to broaden our current whisky offering. We are looking forward to a successful and exciting 2016.”

Previous Rugby-inspired beer returns for Six Nations
Next Leading industry names launch new bar consultancy