Centenary Celebration ofSuntory Spirits

By Spiritz Desk
New Update
Centenary Celebration ofSuntory Spirits

Renowned as a trailblazer in Japanese whisky, The House of Suntory is famed for its Master Blenders’ craft in blending. Originating from the visionary Shinjiro Torii, who aimed to enrich the lives and dining experiences of the Japanese people, the centennial celebration of The House of Suntory commenced with the establishment of the Yamazaki Distillery in 1923. To mark this milestone, The House of Suntory unveiled limited-edition whiskies exclusively in India says Zoran Peric, International Brand Ambassador, The House of Suntory.

This special occasion featured the release of two limited-edition whiskies: Yamazaki 18YO Mizunara 100th Anniversary Edition, and Hibiki Japanese Harmony 100th Anniversary Edition. This Yamazaki Mizunara Single Malt comprises meticulously selected malt whiskies, all aged for a minimum of 18 years in solely Mizunara casks.

For the Connoisseurs

Zoran Peric says that the 2023 limited release of Yamazaki 18-Year-Old Mizunara seeks to highlight the unique essence of Yamazaki by combining Suntory’s flagship single malt with the irreplicable element of time and the sought-after characteristics of Japanese Mizunara oak, in which the unique malt is aged exclusively. “This exceptional whisky is a testament to Suntory’s dedication to delivering quality and premium experiences to whisky enthusiasts,” Zoran offers.

“It 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 result showcases the rare, distinctive beauty of Mizunara oak, which is considered the signature ‘enhancer’ of Yamazaki; providing unique Japanese character and elegance,” , Zoran elaborates.

The bottle design of Hibiki Japanese Harmony 100th Anniversary Edition brings the relentless pursuit for quality, ingenuity, and expressiveness which has inspired the design of each of the house’s centennial limited editions. “The Hibiki Japanese Harmony centennial edition packaging features motifs of snow, moon and flowers representing Japan’s changing seasons. The ‘Kakehashi’ (bridge) depicted on the bottle links Japan and the world to the past, present and future. The water flowing underneath is pure and clear, symbolising the cleansing of hardships and calamity. The ‘Kakehashi’ symbolises the emotional connection of the Japanese people to their country’s unique seasonality and its significance in everyday life, fostering an appreciation for time that deeply resonates and inspires Hibiki,” Zorin elaborates further.

Hibiki Japanese Harmony 100th Anniversary Edition is amber coloured, and Zoran informs that “this luminous and delicate whisky presents notes of rose, lychee, a hint of rosemary, mature woodiness and sandalwood on the nose. On the palate, it offers aromas of honey-like sweetness, candied orange peel and white chocolate. Its finish is both subtle and tender with a hint of Mizunara.”

Enduring Appeal

Regarding Japanese alcoholic beverages’ rising popularity in India and the world, Zoran avers that Japanese whisky’s rise to popularity can be attributed to a significant historical milestone.

“In 1923, Suntory established the first malt whisky distillery, Yamazaki. Introducing meticulous craftsmanship, it brought traditional distilling techniques with Japanese precision, with the use of locally sourced ingredients, pristine waters, and the influence of Japan’s unique climate. After a series of impressive wins for Yamazaki and its blended counterpart Hibiki in various international competitions, Japanese whisky gained widespread recognition,” explains the expert.

The Indian Market

He believes that as consumers actively transition towards experiential and quality-driven spirits, there has been a substantial increase in the preference for immaculate craftsmanship of Japanese whiskies. He says that they have seen a growing appeal for premium and luxury Japanese whiskies as well as a changing consumer base in the Indian market as the market’ preference is shifting toward quality over quantity.

“As Indians become more discerning and well-travelled, they are displaying a desire to explore and experiment with different flavours, which has contributed to the uptake of such luxury spirits in India,” Zoran asserts.