After spending the past three years in ex-Bourbon casks, our floral and umami  kōji-based spirit Helena dons a new golden dress to become Ehime. Released side-by-side, Cask 02 and Cask 03 showcase different expressions of wood and time.  Ranging from butterscotch and toffee aromas to vinous and jammy characteristics, both casks offer a warm and smooth drinking experience.



  • The Origins of Ehime by Lars Williams

    “Empirical was not even a year old and a friend had given us an old bourbon barrel. We decided to fill it with our koji based spirit Helena to see what would happen to the flavor and aroma over time in wood. Mark and I envisioned a time far in the future where our kids, or even grandkids would crack the first ever
    aged barrel that Empirical had produced.

    About a year later my dear friend Shinobu Namae, a super talented chef in Tokyo called me with some bad news. The Ehime region of Japan where we’d spent a week learning the traditional style of Shoyu production, had been devastated by a once in a century flooding.
    Our friend had his ancestral home and factory completely destroyed. Namae-san was putting together a relief fund for the region and asked if there was anything we could donate.

    I looked around our distillery; we were selling everything we had as fast as we could produce it but there was that barrel. It was definitely the most valuable product we had, both monetarily and personally. So we bottled it up, named it Ehime after the region that was destroyed by the flooding, and all the sales went to Namae-san’s fundraiser. This first barrel of Ehime is what inspired our new barrel program that is more of an experiment with both time and wood from around the world”

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  • Such a unique spirit deserved its own unique bottle.

    As we could not find the perfect match for Ehime, Lars and Rodrigo set themselves to design our own. With the help of Refshaleøen based glass blowing studio BLÆS, they created the first bottle prototypes. The rice paper label is a nod to the origins of our first Ehime barrel.

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  • Each bottle of Ehime Cask 02 and Cask 03 ship with a copy of the short graphic novel about Ehime, printed and folded from a single sheet of paper. Written by the Empirical team and based on true events, it is illustrated by our very talented friend Mike Hughes. Each collectible is signed by Head of Production Rodrigo Nincao and Co-founder Lars Williams, who are both protagonists of the story.

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Smell. Swirl. Sip. Repeat.

Empirical is a flavor company.

Taking a flavor-first approach means we find great ingredients and turn them into delicious experiences. Learn more about the Empirical way.


Watch Episode 3 of Flavor Up! and join us behind the scenes, as Thomas Lim, culinary director and partner of Wish You Were Here group, takes us through the underlying philosophy of Belles Beach House, how you can learn from what happens in a kitchen to overcome barriers and embrace failure, break away from tunnel vision and keep adding creativity to everything you do.