Main office of the Chita distillery
|Website||Suntory Chita Distillery|
Chita distillery (Japanese: 知多蒸溜所 Hepburn: Chita jōryūsho) is a Japanese whisky distillery located at the Port of Nagoya Sun Grain facility in the Chita District of the Aichi Prefecture, Japan. Opened in 1972, and owned by Suntory, it is currently the only major whisky distillery in Japan specialising in grain whisky. It is one of three domestic whisky distilleries owned by Suntory, the others being Yamazaki and Hakushu.
Until 2015, the Chita distillery produced grain whisky to be blended with malt whisky produced at the other distilleries. Recognition of the Chita distillery's contribution to the increasing quality of Japanese blended whiskies led Suntory to commission a flagship single grain whisky "The Chita".
Styles of whisky
Three types of whisky are produced at the Chita distillery, all of which are primarily derived from corn. The first two are blended whisky components, and are blended in to Suntory's domestic market Kakubin and Suntory Old as well as high-end Hibiki respectively. The third and most recent whisky is the distillery's flagship single grain "Chita".
When the Chita distillery was commissioned by Suntory to create a Japanese single grain whisky, Suntory's fifth-generation chief blender Fukuyo Shinji was brought in to select the grain combinations. He settled on a blend of 10 grain types that together exuded a plum-like sweetness. For ageing, Fukuyo selected sherry, bourbon and wine barrels of white oak and Spanish oak.
Currently, only one variant of Chita is currently sold. It is bottled in 700ml (domestic and international sales) and 180ml (limited to convenience stores mainly in the Chūbu region). A 300ml size is no longer available. Chita is promoted in Japan by actor Satō Takeru, who appeared in such dramas as Ryōmaden.
UK-based International Spirits Challenge awarded Chita single grain a gold medal in 2017.