The term ‘oldest’ seems to be the new buzzword in whisky. In recent months, we have seen prominent brands and distilleries release their versions of old and precious spirits. Now, the house of Suntory has thrown its name into the hat with the release of the Yamazaki 55.

From the birthplace of Japanese whisky, Yamazaki 55 – now available in select global markets – honours the legacy of three generations of Master Blenders and celebrates its harmony with nature with a donation for every newly released bottle to The White Oak Initiative.

In the much anticipated first-ever global release, the house of Suntory pays tribute to the passage of time and the legacy of the founding family of Japanese whisky. Bottled in 2020, Yamazaki 55 – Suntory’s oldest release in its history – celebrates the Japanese “Showa” era of the 1960s that represented a major period of change for the house of Suntory.

Precious Liquid Gold

yamazaki 55
Introducing Yamazaki 55, the House of Suntory’s oldest single malt Japanese whisky release in its history. (Photo credit: House of Suntory)

Inside each bottle is a blend of precious single malts featuring components distilled in 1960 under the supervision of Suntory’s founder Shinjiro Torii and then aged in Mizunara casks. Then in 1964, under Suntory’s Second Master Blender Keizo Saji the whisky was aged in White Oak casks.

Suntory’s fifth-generation chief blender Shinji Fukuyo worked closely with third-generation master blender Shingo Torii in deploying their signature art of blending to properly reveal the exceptional depth, complexity and wisdom that is Yamazaki 55.

The resulting expression features a deep amber colour; robust aroma redolent of sandal wood and well-ripened fruit; sweet, slightly bitter, and woody palate; and slightly bitter yet sweet and rich finish.  Yamazaki 55 is presented in a crystal bottle with the word “Yamazaki” carefully engraved in calligraphy using the technique of sandblasting and featuring real gold dust and lacquer on the age marking.

The bottle’s opening is wrapped in handmade Echizen washi paper and bound with a Kyo-kumihimo plaited cord, a traditional craft from Kyoto. Each bottle is delivered in a bespoke box made from native Japanese Mizunara wood and coated with Suruga lacquer.

Yamazaki 55 will be available in extremely limited quantities starting this month at a suggested retail price of US$60,000 (around RM251,000).

(Images: House of Suntory)

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