The Helios Distillery in the city of Nago has become renowned for their exceptional Awamori, the local Okinawan specialty. This is a kind of aged Sochu that has been consumed on the island since the 15th century. While they made their name locally for selling Awamori, Helios was quietly distilling ultra high quality rum and malt whisky.
Their flagship whisky, sold under the Kura brand, is one of the most unique and enticing Japanese whiskies we’ve ever come across. They begin with peat sourced from the mires of Hokkaido. The Japanese peat has a lot of the same characteristics as Scottish peat, but availability is extremely limited. That whisky is then blended with other single malt whisky distilled in Okinawa after many years of aging in American white oak. Finally, the malts are finished further in used Japanese rum casks, which have been seasoned for up to 21 years before being used to finish the Kura. They’ve infused Okinawa’s unique spirit into this world class and limited new Japanese whisky.