Mars Iwai Whisky Review

Mars Iwai Whisky – Distiller: Mars. ABV: 40%. No age statement. Blend: 75% corn whisk(e)y, 25% malt whisk(e)y. Price: $35-40.

Mars Whisky is a Japanese distiller little known in the U.S., but renowned for some very high-quality whiskies in Japan. The Iwai Whisky is a curiosity for several reasons. It’s “bourbon inspired,” as Mars says, made from a grain bill of three-quarters corn and a quarter malted barley, and it costs less not only than every other Japanese whisky on the U.S. market, but less than many quality bourbons: $35-40.

It’s only 40% ABV, but the high corn recipe and the fat pot still it’s made in give it substance and creaminess. The nose is a bit shy: some vanilla toasted oak notes, a touch of melon. Palate: vanilla pound cake and lychee. Short, understated finish.

It won’t change your life, but it’s a simple, pleasant whisky that mixes well at a price far below anything else from Japan. For a step up, try the Mars Iwai Tradition–significantly more satisfying for about $15 more.

Hopefully these two are harbingers of other well regarded Mars releases reaching the U.S. soon, especially the single malts that made the distillery’s reputation at home.

Kanpai, friends! -BO

Buy Mars Iwai Whisky online at Mash + Grape

One thought on “Mars Iwai Whisky Review”

  1. Lots of pear with subtle hints of Apple followed by butterscotch. One of the smoothest whiskeys I’ve ever had that actually had a layered flavor profile. As stated it won’t knock your socks off but a good buy for the price.

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