Japan’s Oldest Whisky Distillery Releases Limited Edition Offering Aged For 18 Years Exclusively In Japanese Mizunara Oak
The Mizunara cask is a perfect expression of “Tsukuriwake” – the art of diversity in whisky making. Diverse grain types, as well as fermentation, distillation and maturation techniques, underpin Suntory’s legendary Art of Blending. This diversity enables Suntory to produce more than 100 different malt and grain whiskies at the Yamazaki, Hakushu and Chita distilleries and allows Suntory complete self-sufficiency in the creation of its blends.
It is at Yamazaki, Japan’s oldest malt whisky distillery and the House of Suntory’s soulplace, where the art of “Tsukuriwake” is pushed the furthest. Built in 1923 by Shinjiro Torii, the founding father of Japanese Whisky, Yamazaki produces a wide variety of malt whiskies. Only Yamazaki whiskies—and only a few—have had the privilege of maturing in Mizunara casks, creating one of the most uniquely flavored and distinctly Japanese whiskies in the world.
For Suntory’s fourth Chief Blender Shinji Fukuyo, every creation is a new journey to achieve the exquisite balance of subtlety, refinement and complexity that is the hallmark of all Suntory whiskies. In his pursuit of true “Mizunara-ness,” he tasted a few hundred Mizunara whiskies and made selections with varying ages, from 18 years old and beyond. A very small portion exceed even 50 years of maturation, which give this limited edition an incomparable depth and a flavor that lingers long after the liquid has passed the lips.
Fukuyo knew from the start that the Yamazaki Mizunara 2017 Edition was not intended for a familiar, relaxing moment. He wanted this uniquely Japanese whisky to be dramatic and unforgettable:”I wanted to reveal the whisky’s soul that is the Art of Mizunara—a heightened sense and awakened palate engaged through aromas and flavors never known before. Encountering it should be a moment of epiphany.”
Taste Blessed by The Passage of Time
Throughout their long history using Mizunara casks, Suntory’s blenders have observed that age is the key to unlocking the signature taste of Mizunara whisky. A long maturation period reveals the distinctive spiciness and incense-like flavor of sandalwood and aloe wood that Suntory considers as the quintessential “Mizunara-ness.”
With many other cask types, whisky usually reaches a maturation peak at some point. But even at 50 years and beyond, the top-note and after-taste aromas of Mizunara whiskies are generally still improving. This unique ability to support long-term aging affords endless opportunities to experience the evolution and refinement of Mizunara whiskies over time.
- Color: Amber
- Nose: Rich and elegant fragrance, aloe wood, cinnamon
- Palate: Condensed sweetness, silky texture, dry fruits, coconut, orange marmalade
- Finish: Distinctive spiciness lingers with Japanese incense, aloe wood, cinnamon and tartness