Japanese distillery Yamazaki has released its oldest whisky yet

Japanese distillery Yamazaki has released its oldest whisky yet

Japan’s oldest distillery has released its oldest whisky yet, aged for 55 years

News | 22 Sep 2021

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House of Suntory's Yamazaki Distillery, the first malt distillery to be founded in Japan, has released a 55-year-old expression — its oldest to date. A spokesman for House of Suntory explained that the release celebrates the Japanese ‘Showa’ era of the 1960s, a time that represented a major period of change for the House of Suntory. According to Suntory, the Yamazaki 55 Years Old the pays tribute to the passage of time and the legacy of the founding family of Japanese whisky.

Bottled in 2020, Yamazaki 55 Years Old is a blend of single malts featuring components distilled in 1960 under the supervision of Suntory’s founder Shinjiro Torii, which was aged in mizunara (Japanese oak) casks, and in 1964 under Suntory’s second master blender Keizo Saji, aged in white oak casks. The resulting expression features a deep amber colour and is described as possessing a robust aroma redolent of sandalwood, well-ripened fruit and a sweet, slightly bitter and woody palate.

Beam Suntory, owner of House of Suntory, will donate USD $5,000 for every bottle released in this year’s 100-bottle collection, totalling USD $500,000, to The White Oak Initiative, a group committed to the long-term sustainability of America’s white oak forests.

Suntory’s fifth-generation chief blender Shinji Fukuyo said, “Throughout the process of blending Yamazaki 55, I used as inspiration the passage of time and ‘Wabi-sabi’ — the Japanese belief that imperfections can help to ultimately contribute to perfection.”

Yamazaki 55 Years Old's bottle and presentation box feature several traditional Japanese crafts, such as handmade Echizen washi paper and Kyo-kumihimo plaited cord. The whisky will be available in very limited quantities in select global markets starting this month for RRP USD $60,000 (excluding VAT and duties).
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