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Suntory Introduces World Whisky ‘Ao’ To The U.S.

The House of Suntory recently announced the U.S. debut of its first world blended whisky, Suntory World Whisky “Ao.”

Previously, it was only available in Japan and Global Travel Retail, now the whisky has made its way to Canada, Taiwan, Singapore, and Korea.

A statement from Suntory explains that Ao was blended using whisky from Suntory Group’s own distilleries in five whisky regions: Scotland, Ireland, Canada, Japan and the U.S.

Suntory World Whisky Ao
The House of Suntory recently announced the U.S. debut of its first world blended whisky, Suntory World Whisky “Ao.” (image via Beam-Suntory)

‘Ao’, which means blue, is named after the oceans that connect these whiskies of the world.

The Ao bottle is five-sided, representing the five major whisky-making regions. The calligraphic lettering was written by Japanese calligrapher Tansetsu Ogino to represent the whiskies’ global origins.

The distiller’s notes show this whisky to feature the heathery flavor of Ardmore and Glen Garioch distilleries in Scotland, the complexity of Cooley in Ireland, the smoothness of Alberta in Canada, and the vibrance of Jim Beam in the U.S. All while expressing the subtlety of Yamazaki and Hakushu in Japan.

The amber-colored whisky features notes of vanilla, tropical fruit and cinnamon, picked up from the distinctive climate, fermentation and distillation processes in each whisky-making region.

Shinji Fukuyo, a fifth-generation Suntory chief blender, selected the whiskies that were used based on Suntory’s “Monozukuri craftsmanship,” a pursuit of perfection, attention to detail and commitment to quality.

“Ao is an exceptional whisky which, through the art of Suntory blending, allows you to enjoy the unique characteristics of each of the five major whisky-making regions,” Fukuyo said, in the prepared statement.

Suntory World Whisky Ao clocks in at 43% ABV and has a suggested retail price of $55 for a 700ml bottle. It joins the Suntory whisky portfolio including Yamazaki, Hakushu, Hibiki and Suntory Whisky Toki.

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Gary Carter

Gary Carter has been at the helm of metro newspapers, magazines, and television news programs as well as a radio host and marketing manager. He is a writer/editor/photographer/designer by trade, with more than 30 years experience in the publishing and marketing field. Gary enjoys working to build something great, whether that be a novel project, a start-up, an organization, a fresh-face to the journalistic world, or even something as simple as a short story. A native Texan and a Pacific Northwest convert, he is a whiskey enthusiast who cut his teeth on it ... literally!

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