The oldest whisky ever released by House of Suntory, Yamazaki 55, will be arriving in Australia later this month.
Yamazaki 55 is a blend of single malts including components distilled in 1960 under the supervision of Suntory’s founder Shinjiro Torii and then aged in Mizunara casks; and in 1964 under Suntory’s second master blender Keizo Saji and then aged in White Oak casks.
Suntory’s fifth-generation chief blender Shinji Fukuyo blended the whisky together with third-generation master blender Shingo Torii.
“The resulting expression features a deep amber color; robust aroma redolent of sandal wood and well-ripened fruit; sweet, slightly bitter and woody palate; and slightly bitter yet sweet and rich finish,” Suntory says.
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.
The global launch of Yamazaki 55 in select markets, at an RRP of $90,000 AUD, follows the release of one hundred bottles in the Japanese market last year.
Beam Suntory will donate $5,000 USD of the proceeds from all 100 bottles released this year – $500,000 USD in total – to The White Oak Initiative, a group committed to the long-term sustainability of America’s white oak forests.
Yamazaki 55 will be available in extremely limited quantities starting September 2021 at Vintage Cellars, Dan Murphy’s, Crown Casino and Oak Barrel Sydney.
Official Tasting Notes: Yamazaki 55 (46 per cent ABV)
Colour: Deep amber distinctive of Mizunara casks.
Nose: A robust aroma redolent of sandal wood. A sweet, mature bouquet like well-ripened fruit.
Palate: A soft, smooth first sip that blossoms in the mouth with flavor. A mixture of sweet and slightly bitter, followed by a woody note from the Mizunara cask.
Finish: Slightly bitter, a fragrance like scented wood and a hint of smokiness. A sweet, rich, lingering finish.