Founded by Shinjiro Torii in 1899, the House of Suntory has been at the forefront of this whisky revolution since its inception. One of the fundamental principles that distinguish Suntory is its relentless pursuit of perfection: meticulous attention to detail and craftsmanship involved in its production. “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.  Indeed, the 2023 limited release of Yamazaki 18 Year Old Mizunara highlights the unique essence of Yamazaki by combining Suntory’s flagship single malt with the sought-after characteristics of Japanese Mizunara oak, in which the unique malt is aged exclusively. The House of Suntory 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.

One notable feature that contributes to the excellence of Suntory whisky is the craftsmanship of their coopers. Skilled artisans hand-pick the oak casks used for aging, ensuring the highest quality wood to impart subtle and refined flavours to the whisky during maturation. Joining the unique essence of maturation time, oaks like Mizunara needs to be around 200 years old before it can be cut and used for casks. Furthermore, the added complexity of the “water oak” – named for its high moisture content and porousness also means that whisky must mature in the casks for at least 15 to 20 years for the “right” flavours to be imparted. Any less, and the surfacing notes are too intense and sharp, overwhelming the subtler flavours, hence, the legacy of Suntory blenders’ relentless pursuit to crafting whiskies aged in Mizunara paved the way for future experiments. By taking the art to new heights, combining time-honoured techniques with their unique cultural sensibilities, 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 water used in whisky production also plays a pivotal role, and Suntory is blessed with some of the purest water sources in Japan. Nestled deep in Mt. Kaikomagatake, the Second-Generation Master Blender, Keizo Saji, founded the Hakushu Distillery in 1973. Its blenders accepted the challenge of working with peat – a daring move made possible thanks to the area’s unique terroir, climate and exceptional mountain water.

Filtered through granite rocks which soften the whisky’s signature smoky taste, House of Suntory’s limited-edition Hakushu 18 Year Old Peated Malt features vibrant notes of sage, ripe green apple, and hints of ripe pineapple on the nose. Furthermore, comprising meticulously selected malt whiskies all aged for a minimum of 18 years, the limited-edition malt has a complex smoky flavour on the palate that reveals layers of herbal, grapefruit and acacia honey notes, with a smoky finish that lingers with undernotes of fresh green citrus.

House of Suntory Masters: A Taste of Legacy and Celebration of Greatness

Largely recognised as the pioneer of Japanese whisky, House of Suntory is marking a century since the iconic Yamazaki Distillery was established. and fifty years since the legendary Hakushu Distillery was opened; this August and September, the House of Suntory Masters is an exceptional series of dinners with celebrated chefs centered around Suntory’s finest whiskies and spirits, including the limited centennial editions of Yamazaki 18 Year Old Mizunara and Hakushu 18 Year Old Peated Malt.

Eight esteemed culinary artists of MICHELIN-starred outlets Cheung Siu Kong of Summer Pavilion, Kenji Yamanaka of Béni and Takuya Yamashita of Whitegrass; chef-owners Yohhei Sasaki of La D’Oro, Yuji Sato of Sushi Sato, and Daniel Chavez of Canchita; and the boldly unconventional Yusuke Takada of Hanazen and Taro Takayama of Takayama take guests on a deep dive of Suntory’s range of rare and limited spirits, accompanied by the finest, inspired cuisine specially created for this occasion only.

Embodying House values of quality, ingenuity, and expressiveness, the Chefs bring attendees on an exploration of the riches of Japanese nature and monozukuri  or craftsmanship – with the pioneering Yamazaki whisky, traversing the majestic forests of Mt. Kaikomagatake with Hakushu, the verdant whisky from the Japanese Southern Alps, while experiencing a full orchestra of flavours and aromas with Hibiki, the paragon of Suntory’s Art of Blending.

Book your a one-of-a-kind evening curated for the discerning palate in celebration of House of Suntory’s 100th anniversary here.

Eight Singular Evenings of Artists and Artisans

23 Aug | 5-course dinner omakase at $380++ (Inclusive of pairing with Suntory World Whisky Ao, Hibiki Japanese Harmony, and Roku Gin)

La D’Oro Presents: A master of Italian and Japanese ingredients and techniques, chef Yohhei Sasaki of the MICHELIN Selected restaurant has creatively infused the House of Suntory’s range of premium spirits into the dishes for this exclusive pairing dinner, creating a symphony of taste sensations. At the heart of this gastronomic experience is the seductive, blossoming and enigmatic art of Hibiki’s blending, a showcase of the fine craftsmanship and sense of luxury from the House of Suntory. Meticulously blended using innumerous malt and grain whiskies, Hibiki Japanese Harmony embodies the essence of a full orchestra of flavors and aromas, setting the stage for a taste of why Hibiki has been embraced as the paragon of The Art of Japanese Whisky.

Chef Taro Takayama first enjoyed Irish whiskey before discovering the smooth, silky notes of Yamazaki, which is now his favourite single malt.

24 & 25 Aug | 6-course dinner omakase at $400++ (Inclusive of pairing with Yamazaki 18 Year Old Mizunara, Yamazaki 18 Year Old, Yamazaki 12 Year Old, Yamazaki Distiller’s Reserve, and Roku Gin)

Takayama Presents: a dinner based on Omotenashi, the experience of wholehearted Japanese hospitality, that beautifully reflects the essence of Yamazaki and the restaurant. This exquisite journey intertwines the elegance of Japanese hospitality and the artistry of fine whisky gastronomy, starting with the monaka of foie gras, plum, and narazuke, a delightful combination of rich and delicate flavors. Experience the freshness of seasonal Ayu fish paired with manganji bell pepper and eggplant, creating a symphony of colors and tastes. And savor the decadence of Miyazaki Wagyu, served with luscious egg yolk and Japanese mushroom, offering a delightful interplay of textures and umami richness. The rich fruity notes of  malt and sandalwood-like Mizunara oak notes of the 18 Year Old Mizunara whisky gently complement the subtle beefiness and marbled fattiness of the Wagyu.

27 Aug | 11-course dinner omakase at $430++ (Inclusive of pairing with Hakushu 18 Year Old Peated Malt, Hakushu 12 Year Old, Hakushu Distiller’s Reserve, and Roku Gin)

Sushi Sato Presents: the freshest and primest of Japanese ingredients such as Ayu sweetfish and yasai from the same Yamanashi prefecture for the dinner. Each dish will pay homage to the unique terroir, capturing the essence of Japanese nature and elevating the pairing experience to new heights. At Sushi Sato, the water used to cook the sushi rice is also sourced from the same pristine water source as Hakushu distillery from the Ojiragawa River, ensuring an unparalleled dining experience. The menu highlights monozukuri, the art of Japanese craftsmanship which he shares with Hakushu peated whisky.

A culinary exploration curated by Peruvian-Mexican husband-wife chef couple, Daniel and Tamara Chavez, featuring Nikkei cuisine—a captivating synthesis of Peruvian and Japanese culinary traditions.

31 Aug | 6-course dinner at $238++ (pairing included)

Canchita Presents: A true celebration of the spirit of Wa (or oneness), the dining experience is complemented by specially concocted cocktails featuring Suntory’s esteemed blended spirits. The pairing cocktails are carefully thought out to play up Hibiki Japanese Harmony’s aromas of rose, lychee, hint of rosemary, mature woodiness, and sandalwood with a honey-like sweetness on the palate. Also lending flavours is the Suntory World Whisky Ao, which fruity notes and smooth, sweet mouthfeel make it perfect with the food, whether it is enjoyed neat, on the rocks, or mixed into a cocktail. From the tangy tiradito marinated in the flavourful Nikkei Tiger’s Milk to the succulent Alaskan Crab that tantalises the senses, every bite is a symphony of flavours that will leave you captivated and craving for more. Don’t miss the crunchy tostada, filled with the umami goodness of Japanese oyster tempura and the delicate Peruvian sea urchin—an explosion of taste that is both indulgent and unforgettable.

1 Sep | 7-course dinner at $600 nett (Inclusive of pairing with Yamazaki 18 Year Old Mizunara, Yamazaki 18 Year Old, Yamazaki 12 Year Old, and Yamazaki Distiller’s Reserve)

Summer Pavilion Presents: Cantonese techniques bringing out the best of scallops featuring the decadence of black truffle and the opulence of caviar or the exquisite Sauteed Geoduck Clam with Asparagus and XO Sauce and the rich flavours of Double-boiled Abalone Soup with Fish Maw, served in a whole coconut paired with Yamazaki 18 Year Old and the centennial Yamazaki 18 Year Old Mizunara boasting a deep, multi-layered and complex profile that perfectly complements the intricate flavors of Chef Cheung’s dishes, where notes of condensed sweetness, silky texture, dry fruits, coconut and orange marmalade finish off with a distinctive spiciness that lingers with Japanese incense, sandalwood, cinnamon and tartness.

6 Sep | 8-course dinner at $598++ (Inclusive of pairing with Hakushu 18 Year Old Peated Malt, Hakushu 18 Year Old, Hakushu 12 Year Old, Hakushu Distiller’s Reserve, and Roku Gin)

Béni Presents: a homage to the unique peat profile and flavours of  Hakushu 18 Year Old Peated Malt Limited Edition. Refined and elegant, this centennial release brings smoke that is less strong, never dominant and in typical Japanese style, more complex and gentle. Its spicy, peppery welcome and slow wave of smoke that deepens as it reveals its herbaceous notes and green fruity undertones lend a complexity to Chef Kenji’s dishes. Indulge in the Signature Mushroom Quartet with earthy aromas, taste the freshness of green asparagus with the succulent sweetness of scallops, while discover the clean smoke with undernotes of fresh green citrus of Hakushu whisky woven into the velvety venison sauce, adding a layer of complexity and depth to the dish. With meticulous attention to detail, he utilises Japanese craftsmanship in elevating classic French dishes, resulting in a symphony of East meets West on your palate.

7 Sep | 5-course dinner at $500++ (Inclusive of pairing with Hakushu 18 Year Old Peated Malt, Hakushu 12 Year Old, Hakushu Distiller’s Reserve, and Roku Gin)

Whitegrass Presents: a lighter interpretation of traditionally heavy French cuisine with a modern twist in both presentation and taste. At the heart of this soirée is the exquisite peatiness of Hakushu whisky. Refined and elegant, the centennial Hakushu 18 Year Old Peated Malt brings a new angle to peated whisky. Softened by the exceptionally pure mountain water and filtered through old granite rocks in the Japanese Southern Alps, the smokiness of Hakushu whiskies is less strong and never dominant. The elegance and complexity of Hakushu whiskies elevate the dining experience, particularly when paired with the succulent Wagyu tenderloin A4 and seasonal fish dishes. The whisky’s soft peat is well balanced by notes of sweet pear, mint, kiwi, take on both bold meat and sweet fish with equal fervour before finishing with tails of green tea and subtle smoke for extended indulgence.

10 Sep | 6-course dinner at $400++ (Inclusive of pairing with Yamazaki 18 Year Old Mizunara, Yamazaki 18 Year Old, Yamazaki 12 Year Old, and Yamazaki Distiller’s Reserve)

Hanazen Presents: an extraordinary whisky dinner that combines the unparalleled craftsmanship of Yamazaki with the culinary mastery of Hanazen, helmed by visionary chef Yusuke Takada. With a legacy spanning five generations, Suntory’s craftsmen have mastered the intricacies of Mizunara Oak, resulting in the limited Yamazaki 18 Year Old Mizunara that boast a unique character and unparalleled elegance. Drawing inspiration from this legacy, Hanazen curates an exquisite charcoal-grilled omakase menu, skillfully blending Japanese and French techniques and flavors to create an explosion of tastes. Each dish is thoughtfully crafted using seasonal ingredients sourced from around the world, perfectly paired with sauces that enhance the flavors and elevate the dining experience.

Book your a one-of-a-kind evening curated for the discerning palate in celebration of House of Suntory’s 100th anniversary here.

written by.

Jonathan Ho

Managing Editor
Jonathan Ho might have graduated with a business degree but he thumbed his nose at commerce and instead opted for a harder life in journalism. He edits Augustman, a title he first joined when he became a writer after a career in advertising and now, earns a living writing commentaries on the luxury industry.
Spend An Evening with Artists and Artisans celebrating Suntory Yamazaki and Hakushu
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