Mars 3&7

MARS 3&7 Whisky


  • Name: Mars 3&7
  • Company: Honbo Shuzo 
  • Category: Blended Whiskey 
  • Content: 39% ABV 
  • Volume: 720ml 
  • Price: 1,500

Tasting Notes

Nose     –   Light, green apple skins, marzipan, and sandalwood. After a relatively long and patient wait notes of flat cola, watery lime icy poles (home brands), dusty floorboards, and oak are present.

Palate   –  Watery, again marzipan, sweet spice, and subtle oak.

Finish  –  Extremely short with sweet spice and an overdue hint of fennel and oak.

Our Coments

At 39 percent, and with its initial light and watery notes, obviously adding water to this blend is
strictly not needed. A lot of people have different opinions on warming up malt, at times I agree,
but with this blend I believe it is necessary. Give this time and let it open up. Lets not forget though, at 1200 yen a bottle you get what you pay for. In my opinion this blend could have so much more potential if bottled at a higher strength, regardless it’s well worth trying.
The current Mars distillery owned by Hombo Shuzo is nestled seemingly 798 meters above sea level, amongst the Alps of Mt.Komagatake, and the distillery’s high quality water source is drawn from
129m below ground level. The “three” refers to grain whisky aged for three years while the
“seven” refers to the use of seven-year-old malt.


Twin Alps

MARS Twin Alps Whisky


  • Name: Twin Alps
  • Company: Honbo Shuzo 
  • Category: Blended Whiskey 
  • Content: 40% ABV 
  • Volume: 750ml 
  • Price: 2,200

Tasting Notes

Nose     –   First Grape, peat,pear,caramel

Palate   –  Watery, again marzipan, sweet spice, and subtle oak.

Finish  –  Medium length, spicy and oaky, and pleasantly warming.

Our Coments

Mars Amber made in 1990, which is not much left, was sold out in spring of 2014. From 2011,
Shinshu MARS distillery restarted to produce and sell this new malt liquor-based product. With its reasonable price, you can drink it freely, and it is also recommended to drink with ice and soda.
Shinshu Mars distillery, representing the magnificent image of “Central Alps” and eastern “Southern
Alps”, which are the locations of distillery, creats the blended whiskey.
This wine features a soft texture and a blended aroma of “vanilla and sweet biscuit” and “ripe fruit”
giving you a calm flavor.


Iwai Tradition

MARS Iwai Tradition


  • Name: Iwai Tradition
  • Company: Honbo Shuzo 
  • Category: Blended Whiskey 
  • Content: 40% ABV 
  • Volume: 750ml 
  • Price: 2,400

Tasting Notes

Nose     –   Thick Manuka honey. Soft oak, sweet orange peel, dry sherry and toffee.
Palate   –  Very high in viscosity. You can tell its richness that comes from its oily characteristic when you chew it in your mouth. It is very sweet indeed.Again, initially one can find strong similarities in it with grape-based spirits. However, things can become quite different upon second tasting.

Finish  –  Upon finish, the aroma that comes back to the nostrils resoundingly similar to Bourbon whiskey. Then on that second tasting, the taste of Bourbon overtakes the initial fruity characteristic of Iwai.

Our Coments

This blend is named after Kiichiro Iwai. He is a mentor of Masataka Taketsuru. As a 14 year senior graduated from the same technical school, Iwai brought Taketsuru into the same brewery, then became his mentor in the company. Along with others in management, Iwai sent Taketsuru to
Scotland to learn the art of whisky-making. As the first Japanese to learn the art, Taketsuru returned to Japan and presented a whisky-making report- the Taketsuru Notes- to Iwai. Taketsuru later went on to found Nikka Whisky, and then created Suntory Whisky. Years after that Iwai founded Mars Shinshu distillery with Taketsuru’s notes. As the mentor of The Father of Japanese Whisky, Iwai is referred to by some as The Silent Pioneer of Japanese Whisky.


Iwai Tradition Wine Cask Finish

MARS Iwai Tradition Wine Cask Finish


  • Name: Iwai Tradition Wine Cask Finish
  • Company: Honbo Shuzo 
  • Category: Blended Whiskey 
  • Content: 40% ABV 
  • Volume: 750ml 
  • Price: 4,900

Tasting Notes

Nose     –   Very light and floral at first, then slowly develops rich and fruity flavors. Got lots of honey and caramel, hints of orange peel as well as milk chocolate, and some winey notes right at the end.

Palate   –  Rather light and peppery. Many of the flavours from the nose are back,such as honey, caramel, and red wine. In addition there are hints of ginger and fudge, followed by oaky spiciness.

Finish  –  Medium length, spicy and oaky, and pleasantly warming.

Our Coments

Hombo Shuzo, the company behind Mars Distillery, produces many kinds of alcoholic beverages at various places in Japan, including wine. It is therefore quite surprising how long it took them to conjure the idea to finish their whiskies using ex-red wine casks from their Chateau Mars winery in neighbouring Yamanashi prefecture. For their first project in this field, they decided to use their blended whisky ‘Iwai Tradition’ and finish it for over the course of a year in ex-red wine casks.
Thank God they eventually did, as we think it turned out rather well.


Mars Maltage “Cosmo”

MARS Maltage Cosmo Blended Malt Whisky

  • Name: Mars Maltage “Cosmo”
  • Company: Honbo Shuzo 
  • Category: Blended Whiskey 
  • Content: 43% ABV 
  • Volume: 700ml 
  • Price: 3,900

Tasting Notes

Nose     –   Refined, fairly lively. Proves to be particularly heady. Notes of cherry and pear eau-de-vie give it plenty of elegance on the initial nose. It then becomes sweeter and softly malted, with a whisper of vanilla. In fact, it never ceases to assert its strong character. Magnificent.

Palate   –  Distinguished, clean. Young and lively, it showcases its pure, crystalclear distillate. Long and direct, it then makes way for red and dark fruit (raspberry, blueberry, blackberry). Its texture is tight, almost rocky (schist, slate). Increasingly dynamic, it unfolds persistent notes of freshly cut grass, peppermint and orange blossom.

Finish  –  Long, taut. Its fruity register has a field day with Mirabelle and greengage plums, melon, candied orange and fresh figs. Nestled on a bed of moss, wild flowers offer a refreshing bath. The retro-olfaction and the empty glass present notes of mint and cocoa powder. glass present notes of mint and cocoa powder.

Our Coments

Situated in the heart of the Japanese Alps, the Shinshu distillery was founded in 1985. Mothballed
for a few years, it was re-opened in 2011. Two absolutely superb versions of its single malt named
‘Mars The Revival 2011’ and ‘Mars Komagatake sherry & white oak 2011’ have since been launched.
Cosmo, their latest opus, is not a single malt but a blended malt composed of course with Mars but
also various Scottish single malts. Whilst this blend is very mature, with beautiful oxidative and
assertive notes, it has also managed to maintain the ardour of its younger days. The blending here
is the work of a great master.


Mars Komagadake Rindo

MARS Komagatake Rindo Single Malt Whisky


  • Name: Mars Komagadake Rindo
  • Company: Honbo Shuzo 
  • Category: Blended Whiskey 
  • Content: 52% ABV 
  • Volume: 700ml 
  • Price: 15,000

Tasting Notes

Nose     –   Sherry, grapefruit, wood stain, an earthy note, dried mixed citrus peel, dried pears, tobacco.

Palate   –  Well the tobacco is still present but you wouldn’t think you were tasting the same whisky you have been nosing. Candy coated nuts, earthy peat, marzipan, white peaches, cashews, a mix of sweet and savory spices, tinned plums, menthol. Really quite moreish, I kept pouring more drams while writing up these notes.

Finish  –  Tobacco, earthy peat, cashews and menthol.

Our Coments

The Komagatake series is the home of Mars’ limited edition release and has previously seen the
Revival 2011 and American & Sherry Oak bottlings.
The Rindo, Nature of Shinshu is believed to have been vatted from single malt distilled in 2012,
some of which were aged in Japanese wine casks. It is also understood to contain some
20-year-old stock. Limited to 8,200 bottles worldwide it has been bottled at 52%.
The Shinshu Distillery was founded by Japanese shochu producer Hombo Shuzo in the Nagano
Prefecture and it distilled both whisky and brandy – the whisky being labelled Mars Whisky.
A drop of in demand for distilled spirits saw whisky production cancelled in 1985 – and it stayed
offline until 2011/12 when the demand for whisky had grown


Mars Maltage 3 Plus 25 Years Old

  • Name: Mars Maltage 3 Plus 25 Years Old
  • Company: Honbo Shuzo 
  • Category: Single Malt Whiskey 
  • Content: 46% ABV 
  • Volume: 700ml 
  • Price: 

Tasting Notes

Nose     –   Luscious. A huge hit of apricots. Ginger, soft leather, Seville oranges,lemon barley, toffee, vanilla, stewed rhubarb, lime juice, gentle pepper, a little pine nut, pineapple, walnut, licorice, and a waxy element.

Palate   –  Smooth and rounded. Big toffee, apricot jam, pepper, stewed rhubarb, Chinese 5 spice. Can oak be creamy? Sweetened corn, pistachios, leather, frangipani, strawberry compote, walnuts, licorice.

Finish  –  Medium-long. Balanced on a sweet/dry combo then a little minerally.

Our Coments

A marriage of whiskies distilled at kagoshima distillery (closed in 1984) and Yamanashi (closed in 1969) and then matured at the current site in Nagano (Mars Shinshu) for 25 years. As the
Kagoshima Whisky would have been three years old this three gets added to the additional 25 years
hence Mars Maltage 3 Plus 25 Pure 28 Year Old.
At the World Whiskies Awards 2013 in London, Mars Maltage 3 Plus 25 Pure 28 Year Old won World’s
Best Blended Malt Whisky. A great award as more than 300 whiskies were sampled in three
blind-tasting rounds by master blenders, distillers, retailers, journalists and brand ambassadors.

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