Shinjiro Torii, the founder of Suntory, established Yamazaki in 1923 to craft whisky tailored more closely to the Japanese palate after learning his trade on an extended working trip through Scotland and using family wealth to construct Japan’s inaugural whisky distillery. Find out the best info about yamazaki Mizunara bot 2011.
His son Keizo oversaw the introduction of Yamazaki single malt whiskey 1984 and its younger sibling Hakushu. Today, both brands remain immensely popular and in high demand, which makes them all but impossible to acquire in an affordable price range.
Many whisky lovers consider Yamazaki single malt as something of a holy grail. As the first Japanese single malt sold internationally and winning international awards, it established itself as an industry benchmark in quality. Today it remains one of the most coveted single malts available, and its price reflects this status. Established by Shinjiro Torii in 1899 and eventually became part of Suntory (one of the top drinks producers).
Yamazaki became Japan’s inaugural malt whisky distillery when Torii constructed and hired Taketsuru Masataka – later known as the godfather of Japanese single malts – as a manager in 1923. Masataka came from a sake brewing family dating back to 17th century Japan and traveled to Scotland in 1918 for training before returning home and setting up both distilleries – one in Yamazaki and the other nearby Hakushu.
At Yamazaki distillery tours, visitors can see rows upon rows of large oak casks: 180-liter toasted barrels designed for quick maturation with vanilla flavors; 230-liter American oak hogsheads that allow long aging at high capacities; sherry and port casks that add fruity notes; as well as 250-year-old Japanese mizunara trees which impart their signature sandalwood scent to Yamazaki whisky for its distinctive taste.
Japan’s inaugural malt distillery opened in 1923 and quickly became famous for producing Yamazaki single malt whisky – now considered an icon by whisky lovers due to its insatiable demand and exorbitant prices (if you can even find it!). First released for sale in 1984, its 12 Year expression includes single malts matured in sherry, Mizunara, and American oak casks for optimal aging before its final blend is created.
Shinjiro Torii had already established himself in Osaka with his Torii Shoten store, where he imported and sold Western-style wines. Later, he started experimenting with creating his spirits before eventually venturing into whisky production.
He believed that to make great whisky required both access to ample water resources and an ideal environment for maturation, and Yamazaki in Osaka Prefecture provided just such conditions with its abundant natural spring waters, mentioned in Man’yoshu – an ancient anthology of Japanese poetry – and listed by the Ministry of Environment as one of its top 100 natural mineral waters in Japan.
Torii was inspired to craft authentic Scottish-style whisky and studied at Glasgow University before returning home and applying the secrets of the trade to Japanese whisky production. Masataka Taketsuru became famously known as the godfather of Japanese whisky production due to his knowledge and expertise in shaping today’s production methods in Japanese distilleries–such as using traditional pot stills with climate controls during barrel aging.
Shinjiro Torii had an ambitious plan: to craft whisky explicitly designed for Japan while taking cues from Scotch whiskies. Through Kotobukiya liquor import company in the late 1800s and 1923, respectively, Torii dreamt of creating Japanese spirits capable of competing with world-renowned Scotch varieties such as Yamazaki (Japan’s first malt distillery).
Suntory chose this location due to the abundance of natural resources found there – three rivers come together, creating an alluring misty climate and one of the softest water sources in Japan. Since then, Suntory has continued Torii’s vision by creating actual Japanese whiskies that capture Nature and craftsmanship within Japan.
Yamazaki single malts have come to symbolize Suntory and be seen as its signature whisky, the one by which all others are judged. Their lush fruit flavors and luxurious oak finish have propelled Japan’s whisky industry forward with record sales and price hikes due to worldwide demand.
Suntory still employs its original tall and short 480-liter puncheons to age its whisky. It has recently added four shorter and taller stills of various shapes that contain condensers (some traditional worm tubs, some more modern shell and tube types). This diversity gives Suntory flexibility to offer single malt expressions and blends.
Shinjiro Torii, often considered the founder of Japanese whisky, founded Japan’s first malt distillery in 1923 and is widely credited with creating not only award-winning whiskies but also an entire culture and way of life surrounding Japanese whisky.
Inspired by traditional Scottish whisky, Torii chose Yamazaki at the foot of Mt Tennozan for its excellent water and natural environment. Reputably soft and smooth water made this area especially appealing to the legendary master of tea ceremony Sen no Rikyu.
In 1984, Yamazaki’s inaugural single malt whisky was unveiled under Suntory’s second master blender, Keizo Saji’s direction, boasting its rich, elegant taste as an example of its long history and adept craftwork.
Yamazaki Distillery produces an array of expressive single malts and is the foundation of Suntory’s world-renowned Hibiki Harmony blended whisky. Distilled using wooden and stainless steel washbacks and aged in various cask types, including sherry oak casks.
Yamazaki recently unveiled their limited edition Yamazaki Sherry Cask 2013, which earned the accolade of World Whisky of the Year by expert Jim Murray. This expression strikes a perfect balance between its signature fruity notes and Sherry Cask-specific subtlety, with each offering rich fruitiness yet delicate elegance that sets itself apart.
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