Photo/Illutration Chichibu Mayor Kuniyasu Kuki, center, holds a bottle of the award-winning whisky alongside Venture Whisky Ltd. President Ichiro Akuto, left, at the city hall in Chichibu, Saitama Prefecture, on April 1. (Yuji Hara)

CHICHIBU, Saitama Prefecture--A blended whisky made by a small distiller in this city outside Tokyo was ranked the world's best at a prestigious competition held in Britain, the fifth year in a row for the company to win.

The World Whiskies Awards singled out Ichiro's Malt & Grain Japanese Blended Whisky Limited Edition 2021, produced by Venture Whisky Ltd., in the World’s Best Blended Limited Release category.

The combination of several blends proved to be key in achieving “a taste that can satisfy whisky enthusiasts,” according to the company's president, Ichiro Akuto.

Venture Whisky has won the top award in the category for four straight years since 2018 after it first clinched the prize in the World’s Best Single Cask Single Malt category in 2017.

Akuto and Yumi Yoshikawa, brand ambassador for the company, visited Mayor Kuniyasu Kuki at the city hall on April 1 to share the news.

“We created many recipes after repeatedly tasting spirits from each barrel,” Akuto reported.

The mayor spoke highly of the company, calling its achievement “the pride of Chichibu.”

The company produced 500 bottles of the award-winning whisky, which sells for 198,000 yen ($1,820) per bottle, including tax.