When it comes to single malt whisky, the first regions that come to mind are Scotland, Japan, and Ireland, which have all but cornered the market on the malted barley spirit. In fact, it was exactly one century ago that Japan’s Yamazaki launched as the nation’s first commercial distillery. But in recent years, the global market for regional whisky has opened up considerably and enthusiasts are clamoring for another new player.
Enter Three Societies, a distillery that began operation back in 2020 in the South Korean city of Namyangju. Founded by former Microsoft executive Bryan Do, with the help of Scottish Master Distiller Andrew Shand whose resume includes Nikka and the Glenlivet, Three Societies does everything from mashing to distilling to aging in Korea. This past weekend, the brand debuted its first whisky expression, and the nation’s first-ever single malt: Ki One.
While Three Societies released a pair of 200mL limited-edition preview bottles a few months back, dubbed “Tiger” and “Unicorn,” they both held age statements under 2 years and thus couldn’t be classified as whisky in most regions. Now ready for release, the new 700mL Ki One inaugural batch launched in both 40% ABV and 57.7% ABV Cask Strength expressions. Aged in virgin American oak, the whisky will have notes of vanilla, caramel, peach, and banana, giving way to a long, spice-filled finish.
We now await Ki One’s release to online retailers in the coming weeks via Three Societies’ U.S. distributor High Road Spirits. For now, head over to the distillery’s website to learn more.