Suntory, The Yamazaki, 12-Year-Old, Single Malt Whisky, Japan (43%)
About this SPIRIT
The House of Suntory
Yamazaki was Japan’s first distillery, established in 1923 by Shinjiro Tori. Inspired by traditional Scottish whisky-making, but wanting to create something distinctly Japanese, Tori selected a site on the periphery of Kyoto, Japan’s ancient cultural centre.
Here, a unique, humid climate and high-quality water from Mount Tennozan’s springs come together in the production of very special whiskies: Japan’s oldest, and arguably some of its most well-known. Soft waters and frequent mists create ideal conditions for cask ageing here, as do hot summers and colder winters.
The distillery underwent a significant renovation in the late 1980s, which gave the team the ability to produce a variety of whisky styles, including single malts, for which they have now become famous on the global stage.
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Due to limited stocks, This spirit has been restricted to one case per customer.
Yamazaki Distillery was founded in 1923 and has become the iconic Japanese single malt whisky. Indeed, placing it in the top echelon of renowned whisky distilleries would be more than fair. This 12-year-old bottling has been the benchmark that others judge themselves against for many years.
This is impeccable from every angle, with sweet nuttiness, complex spice, excellent length and a variety of fruit notes, from orchard to stewed and dried. As usual for Yamazaki, part of the maturation is in the fabled Mizunara oak, giving heady top notes to the gloriously coherent whole. Shouldn’t every whisky lover have a bottle of Yamazaki?
Rob Whitehead, Spirits Buyer, Berry Bros. & Rudd (December 2022)
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