The renowned Yamazaki Distillery, the oldest malt distillery in Japan, is introducing two limited-edition expressions to celebrate its 100th anniversary.
UK, LONDON – The House of Suntory celebrates a century of pioneering Japanese whisky with the launch of two limited-edition expressions of its iconic Yamazaki® 12 and 18 Year Old Single Malt Whiskies. Founder Shinjiro Torii established Yamazaki Distillery in 1923, ushering in a new era of whisky-making in Japan. As a nod to its future and to honour the craftsmanship and innovative spirit of the brand, the House of Suntory’s multifaceted centennial range includes the new, limited Yamazaki 18 Year Old Mizunara, a single malt Japanese whisky aged exclusively in rare Mizunara oak casks, and the classic Yamazaki 12 Year Old clad in limited-edition celebratory packaging for the 100th anniversary.
As the country’s very first and oldest malt whisky distillery, the Yamazaki Distillery has a storied history that is captured in the 2023 limited releases of the new Yamazaki 18 Year Old Mizunara and celebratory packaging on Yamazaki 12 Year Old. These two bottles are an homage to the brand’s heritage and unwavering dedication to exceptional quality. This is part of a collection of exclusive bottlings that will be introduced this year to commemorate Suntory Whisky’s 100th anniversary.
“Yamazaki 18 Year Old Mizunara was blended for our 100 year anniversary and features a rich texture created from a long aging process. This expresses the delicate and meticulous attention to detail that went into its craftsmanship,” said Fifth Generation Chief Blender Shinji Fukuyo. “I believe this whisky embodies the founding family’s spirit to pursue quality, and I am honoured to share this with the world.”
The 2023 limited release of Yamazaki 18 Year Old Mizunara seeks to highlight the unique essence of Yamazaki by combining Suntory’s flagship single malt with the irreplicable element of time and the sought-after characteristics of Japanese Mizunara oak, in which the unique malt is aged exclusively. The House of Suntory first discovered and started experimenting with Mizunara wood as early as the 1940s under the supervision of the First Generation Master Blender Shinjiro Torii and Second Generation Master Blender Keizo Saji. The past blenders’ relentless pursuit to crafting whiskies aged in Mizunara paved the way for future experiments. The Yamazaki 18 Year Old Mizunara expression has rich and elegant notes of dark cherry and ripe peach on the nose, with hints of cinnamon and nutmeg. On the palate, it is subtly spiced with organette undernotes of Japanese incense and a long and lingering finish, accentuated with clove, sandalwood, and hints of dried coconut. The expression is bottled at 48 percent ABV and has a suggested retail price of £1,600. Available from select retailers including Harrods, The Whisky Exchange and The Whisky Shop.
The House of Suntory’s centennial edition of Yamazaki 12 Year Old is designed as an homage to “Monozukuri” craftsmanship— a Japanese principle which embodies elevated artisanship, relentless pursuit for quality, ingenuity and expressiveness. The bottle design for Yamazaki 12 Year Old pays tribute to Yamazaki, the oldest malt distillery in Japan. The illustration captures this legendary distillery in deep copper tones from a low angle, looking up. This perspective is a reminder to always stay grounded and pay homage to Shinjiro Torii’s dream of making whisky blessed with the riches of Japanese nature and craftsmanship.
The Yamazaki 12 Year Old expression presents aromas of peach, pineapple, grapefruit, clove, candied orange, vanilla and Mizunara (Japanese oak) on the nose. On the palate, it has notes of coconut, cranberry and butter, with a pleasantly long finish and sweet ginger cinnamon undertones. The expression is bottled at 43 percent ABV and has a suggested retail price of £200.
These two special Yamazaki bottles are unveiled alongside two limited-edition Hakushu releases, announced separately. Since its founding, the House of Suntory has been crafting world-class spirits and is known for its Yamazaki, Hakushu, Chita, Kakubin, Hibiki, Suntory Whisky Toki and Ao, as well as Roku Gin and Haku Vodka.
The new centennial Yamazaki 12 and 18 Year Old bottles will be available this month in select global markets within the United States, United Kingdom, Europe and Asia.
The House of Suntory invites fans to join its new global membership program. Members will be among the first to hear about House of Suntory new releases, receive priority consideration for invitations to consumer experiences*, learn news from the distilleries, gain early access to content and more. The House of Suntory membership program aims to bring Japanese whisky enthusiasts together around the world and provide a cultural journey through Japan. To sign up, please visit us online here.
For more information about the House of Suntory, please visit us online here.
*Limited number of invitations in key cities.