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Diageo Takes Minority Stake In Japan’s Komasa Kanosuke Distillery

September 8, 2021

Diageo has announced the acquisition of a minority stake in Japan’s Komasa Kanosuke Distillery. The investment was made through Diageo-backed Distill Ventures, and will allow the distillery to expand production, new product development, and its international sales and marketing teams.

Based in Kagoshima, the distillery is known for its Kanosuke whisky brand. It debuted its first single malt whisky (a three-year-old) in June, to be followed by further limited cask-strength releases ahead of the launch of its flagship single malt brand, slated for next year. So far, distribution has been limited to Japan, but Diageo is eyeing international expansion in the coming years.

According to Diageo, “the investment agreement envisages a transition to a 50:50 joint-venture ownership structure with Diageo subject to future performance.” Komasa Kanosuke joins Denmark’s Stauning Whisky, Australia’s Starward Whisky, and Oregon’s Westward American Single Malt Whiskey in the Distill Ventures portfolio.—Daniel Marsteller

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