Kentucky Owl Takumi Edition is the second limited edition release from Kentucky Owl in 2022, following Kentucky Owl Bourbon St. Patrick’s Edition which was released in February. Kentucky Owl Takumi Edition is a 25,000 bottle release, more than double the 12,000 bottle St. Patrick’s Day Edition release. Kentucky Owl Takumi Edition is a collaboration with John Rhea, Kentucky Owl’s master blender, and Yahisa Yusuke, Japanese whiskey master blender for Nagahama Distillery in Shiga Prefecture, Japan. John Rhea started his career in whiskey at Four Roses Distillery right out of college, eventually working his way up to Chief Operating Officer and then retiring in 2016 after 40 years with the company.
This latest limited edition release blends new and old, showcasing Kentucky bourbon through the eyes of Japanese whisky. Both Kentucky and Japan are home to whiskey lovers who respect tradition and craftsmanship, but who also admire innovation. The Japanese term kaizen — continuous improvement — echoes through this latest project. "Takumi" means "master" [or “artisan”] in Japanese, with the name of the release celebrating the art and craft of modern whisky blending. Rhea and Yahisa worked together to create the resulting Takumi Edition blend, with Rhea selecting four different formulations and sending the samples to Japan. Yahisa evaluated those samples, which represented different ages and mash bills available from Kentucky Owl®. Yahisa then created different blends with those formulations to develop one most reflective of his Japanese whisky style.”
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