An exceptionally uncommon whisky is coming to the U.S. from legendary Japanese whisky maker Suntory and its flagship Yamazaki distillery: Yamazaki 55 is a Japanese solitary malt with background courting back again to the ‘60s, earning it the distinction of being the oldest whisky ever produced by Suntory.
Yamazaki 55 includes personal casks of Japanese one malt from 1960 and 1964, the previous aged in Japanese Mizunara oak and the latter aged in more frequent white oak casks. The pedigree of this whisky is astounding: it was distilled when the founder was continue to alive, and has been diligently watched by several generations of grasp blenders.
This is significant news for a whisky model that, in the past five several years, has viewed exponential growth in demand from customers even though simultaneously viewing significant hurdles to conference it.
Yamazaki isn’t just a person of the most notable names in Japanese whisky—it’s the to start with. Suntory founder Shinjiro Torii set the phase when construction commenced in 1923, just exterior Kyoto. In the a long time given that, Suntory has grown to include things like the Hakushu distillery, and many extra makes (not to mention its acquisition of Beam, which incorporates a significant variety of bourbon makes, such as Jim Beam, Booker’s, and Maker’s Mark).
Typically we really don’t give much notice to a bottle’s packaging, but the crystal decanter for the Yamazaki 55 is gorgeous, with sandblasted models and touches of gold dust and lacquer in the closing design and style. It’s also wrapped in handmade Echizen washi paper and bound with a Kyo-kumihimo plaited twine, which is a regular Kyoto craft.
The piece which is most interesting, having said that, is the box, which is manufactured from mizunara oak wood that gives great Japanese malts their unique character. It is a identical packaging choice to Booker’s 30th launch, which was sold in exceptional boxes created from reclaimed lumber from a warehouse getting disassembled when the liquid was completed.
At 46 % ABV, it’s a restrained one malt in accurate Japanese fashion—nothing punchy or overpowering for the liquid’s aromas and flavors to contend with. And which is good, because the deep amber liquid is, in accordance to Suntory, aromatically lush with very well-ripened fruit and sandalwood on the nose. Formal tasting notes highlight intense woody character from the mizunara right before a finish of smoke.
If that does not seem specifically descriptive, well, we concur, but these ultra-old whiskies have a way of becoming indescribable, even for the masters. Fifth-technology Main Blender Shinji Fukuyo experienced extra to include, thankfully: “Throughout the system of mixing Yamazaki 55, I applied as inspiration the passage of time and ‘Wabi-sabi’—the Japanese belief that imperfections can help to in the end contribute to perfection,” defined Fukuyo. “While I frequently check out other more aged whiskies as art, I consider Yamazaki 55 to be far more like a Buddhist statue: calm and mysterious, necessitating time to actually delight in the internal magnificence.”
Of course, for most of us, tasting it will be a pipe dream. Yamazaki 55 is (as you most likely anticipated) out there in profoundly constrained quantities. The liquid basically started marketing in 2020 to Japanese people in a different 100-bottle launch. This year’s release is the similar measurement, but is accessible on a world wide scale, which includes the United States, United Kingdom, China, and Taiwan.
If you’re lucky adequate to get your fingers on a bottle, we can not inform you cracking it open is a very good strategy anyway. The collector’s worth of a launch like this is significant. Of class, to keep these kinds of a rare liquid and not give it a taste?
That seems like a terribly sobering conclusion, far too.
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