Nagahama Distillery’s New, Unfortunate Special Label
The story of sexism in the whisky community is not new, and you can brush up on some background via Becky Paskin’s post TIME’S UP FOR SEXISM IN WHISKY AND BEER.
In Japan, the message hasn’t quite gotten across to all parties, and we continue to see women objectified on small-producer spirits labels.
This happens fairly frequently in the bar space (notorious offender moe private label series) and the IB space (Whiskey Mew’s anime-inspired label series), often with anime or illustrations or pin-up models, but today is the first time I’ve seen it happen in recent times with a Japanese distillery original bottling!
Despite featuring the first nude commercial advertising poster in Japan for their port wine, Suntory-Beam has long since moved onto less sexist branding for their wines and spirits, and Nikka, Kirin, Hombo Shuzo, and Chichibu to my knowledge also feature modern, respectful advertising of their whiskies.
Japanese distillery Nagahama (whiskybase profile), however, announced in last October, 2021, a special co-production bottle of their Amahagan blended whisky with “Miss University Japan 2019” contestant Karin Nagasawa (長澤佳凜) which was a surprise:
「ミスユニバーシティ2019」グランプリ・長澤佳凜が、長濱蒸溜所とコラボしたウイスキーを開発 (2021年10月6日) - エキサイトニュース
ミスユニバーシティ直撃 母もグランプリ経験ありのサラブレッド神奈川代表・保川のどかさん ミスユニバーシティ直撃…
I noticed it when I saw a bottle turn up on secondary retailing site mercari. On the upside, the proceeds will be donated to elementary schools in Shiga prefecture. On the downside, it’s yet another pin-up culture whisky label.
I suppose they are trying to drum up sales with any kind of PR they can get, like this extremely expensive new-make barrel scheme they are selling for $17,500.