Suntory’s Yamazaki, Hakushu Offer Up New Distiller’s Reserve Whiskies

| May 19, 2014

yamJapanese spirits company Suntory, even as it finishes swallowing American whiskey giant Jim Beam in a massive $16 billion deal, is continuing to produce whiskies from its holdings in its native land. Some of the latest are debuting in the United Kingdom in the form of two non-age statement expressions from its Yamazaki and Hakushu distilleries.

Known as Hakushu Distiller’s Reserve and Yamazaki Distiller’s Reserve, both were created from a blending of casks that ranged up to 20 years in age. They were created in such a way that they each reportedly bring out the younger malts in the blend “that possess a rare vibrancy and energy.”

A very slick press release [pdf] details these releases pretty extensively. For the Yamazki, which draws from whiskies that were resting in sherry casks, mizunara casks, French oak Bordeaux wine casks and American oak casks, one gets tasting notes as follows:

NOSE : strawberry, cherry, Mizunara (Japanese oak)
PALATE : raspberry, white peach, touch of coconut
FINISH : sweet vanilla, clean fi nish, hint of cinnamon

hakAs for the Hakushu, it draws from a younger whisky that is lightly peated as well as older “American white oak cask malt whiskies.” Tasting notes indicate

NOSE : strawberry, cherry, Mizunara (Japanese oak)
PALATE : raspberry, white peach, touch of coconut
FINISH : sweet vanilla, clean fi nish, hint of cinnamon

Price wise, expect to pay around $70 a bottle for the two 43 percent alcohol by volume releases. There was no immediate word when they might appear in the United States.

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Nino Kilgore-Marchetti

Nino Kilgore-Marchetti is the founder and editor-in-chief of The Whiskey Wash, an award winning whiskey lifestyle website dedicated to informing and entertaining consumers about whisk(e)y on a global level. As a whisk(e)y journalist, expert and judge he has written about the subject extensively, been interviewed in various media outlets and...