The Hombo family, founder of Mars, began producing shochu in 1909, expanding their portfolio over the years to eventually include their most popular product, whisky. They obtained their whisky license in 1949 with the help of their advisor, Mr. Kiichiro Iwai, a key player in the international rise of Japanese whisky.
Currently, Mars has two distilleries and an additional aging site. Mars Shinshu, the main distillery, is tucked away at 2,625 ft in the Nagano Alps, making it Japan's highest whiskey distillery. Nagano's heavy snowfall and temperate climate provide an abundance of soft and delicate glacier water for use in this dynamic range of both blended and single malt expressions.