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We finally got our hands on Suntory’s flagship single malt whisky so we are shouting about it. Not only is Yamazaki the No.1 single malt whisky in Japan, but it is hugely popular across the world. As such, it is often hard to come by, but we are happy to reveal that it is now available via our online store. Get it now, while stocks last!

Why so special?

The Yamazaki® distillery is Japan’s first and oldest malt distillery. It is therefore considered the birthplace of Japanese whisky. The heritage of Yamazaki connects it in a deep and spiritual way to the people of Japan, but it is the surprising, delicate yet profound experience of flavours which distinguish this single malt from all the rest.


As Michael Jackson (not that Michael Jackson) from Whisky Magazine says, “Yamazaki 12 year Old is a pioneering malt in Japan, for which Suntory deserve great credit. In its early days, it was rounded and delicate…now it is more intense, confident and elegant.”

Before we delve more into the tasting notes, let’s take a peek behind the shoji…aka the translucent paper room dividers found in traditional Japanese homes…

Bold Beginnings

Suntory’s founder, Shinjiro Torii, fell in love with traditional Scottish whisky, but the inspiration he felt never clouded his vision for a whisky that was true to his home country. For him, the only way to express the Japanese character was to locate his distillery in Japan. His search went on for years, but he finally found it…

yamazaki terrain BWBNestled proudly on the periphery of Kyoto, the chosen region was known at the time as “Minaseno”. Here the Katsura, Uji and Kizu rivers converge, providing a unique misty climate and some of Japan’s softest purest waters. The diversity of this region’s temperature and humidity also creates ideal conditions for cask aging, known as the signature “Suntory Maturation”.

By choosing  a terrain and climate completely different to those found in Scotland Shinjiro Torii was ultimately able to create a new and unique kind of whisky.

Although the first Suntory release in 1929 was a major flop, its developments, nearly a century on, have put Japanese whisky firmly on the map. As a true powerhouse, providing world-leading whiskies, Suntory proudly declares Yamazaki as “the pioneer of Japanese whisky”. Let’s look more at this multi-layered malt with its memorable fruit and Mizunara aromas.

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The YAMAZAKI Tasting Experience

You first encounter the colour of Yamazaki which is a pure gold; clear and dark with burnished highlights. Next comes the aroma or nose, which is fruit filled and sweetly spiced. You pick up succulent peach, pineapple and grapefruit as well as clove, candied orange, vanilla, not forgetting their signature Mizunara, which is a Japanese oak. The palate starts spicy but becomes creamy and succulent from the coconut, cranberry and butter notes. The finish is long, with sweet ginger and cinnamon lingering pleasantly.

Overall Yamazaki is medium bodied. While it bursts with freshness, it has a complexity that tells the story if its innovative journey. There is little wonder it is so sought after in the 35 countries where it can be found. With a limited amount in stock be sure to order now, for delivery or for click and collect.

Fans of whiskey should check out our upcoming Dingle Masterclass; in Kensal Rise and Turnham Green next Tuesday 6 Nov and Wednesday 7 Nov.