Whisky to honour Scot who played ‘key role’ in modernising Japan

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Thomas Blake Glover, from Aberdeenshire, was the first non-Japanese person to be awarded the Order of the Rising Sun.

Thomas Blake Glover

A whisky honouring a Scot who was “instrumental” in modernising Japan will be re-released to mark the anniversary of his death.

Thomas Blake Glover, a merchant from Aberdeenshire, travelled to Nagasaki in 1859 and went on to co-found both Mitsubishi and the brewery that would later be known as the Kirin Group.

He is also said to have played a significant part in returning the role of Emperor to a central position in Japanese politics and culture, following threats of increasing foreign influence.

Glover was the first non-Japanese person to be awarded the Order of the Rising Sun before his death, aged 73, on December 16, 1911 in Tokyo.

Glover Whisky
The Glover is named after the merchant from Aberdeenshire (Fusion Whisky/PA)

His home in Nagasaki is now a major tourism attraction that draws in almost two million visitors a year.

The whisky, named after the “Scottish Samurai” – The Glover – first launched in 2015, with bottles of the rare £1,000 blend selling out in 24 hours.

The Glover fused mature Scotch with ultra-rare whisky from the legendary Hanyu distillery in Japan.


Fusion Whisky and its distillery partner Adelphi said that a temporary shortage of top quality Japanese whisky had prevented the partnership from following up quickly on their sell-out 18-year-old variant.

David Moore, Fusion Whisky director, said: “I am excited by the prospect of a new release of The Glover, the iconic whisky that celebrates the life and legacy of Thomas Blake Glover, a true Scottish legend who had a profound impact upon Japan.”

“We’re not shy in saying we always wanted to make more of The Glover, though the odds of sourcing another Japanese whisky of that quality and rarity were stacked again us.

Thomas Blake Glover
Thomas Blake Glover was said to be instrumental in helping to modernise Japan (Fusion Whisky/PA)


“We hope whisky lovers will be eager to see the return of The Glover, which we expect to be available next summer.”

While The Glover blends Scotch and Japanese whisky, the Edinburgh-based firm has produced other fusions of Scotch and world whisky, each one celebrating a historical figure.

Last month. Fusion Whisky and Adelphi released 400 bottles of their Winter Queen whisky, a 19-year-old blend of Scotch and Dutch whisky in honour of the Scottish princess Elizabeth Stuart.

It followed the release earlier this year of The Brisbane, the first whisky in the world to deploy blockchain technology for end-to-end trust and traceability, and its Indian fusion, The E&K.

Alex Bruce, managing director and master blender at Adelphi, said: “We took the fusion concept and partnered with great distilleries in India, Australia and the Netherlands.

“Being able to tell the story of each character effectively and show the incredibly complex process that goes into each fusion, our use of blockchain allows us to demonstrate the provenance of each whisky, giving buyers the all-important confidence in the uniqueness of their whisky and a bulwark against counterfeit.

“We’re particularly proud that the Australian fusion, The Brisbane, which was made in collaboration with the acclaimed Starward Distillery, was the first whisky in the world to employ blockchain, following on from the innovative use first seen in Adelphi’s own releases of its AD spirit.”

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