The nearly century-old birthplace of Japanese whisky can be traced with the tongue in the latest luxe expression from the historic House of Suntory.
Yamazaki 25 Single Malt Whisky enters a portfolio of exquisite 12-, 18- and 25-, and top-shelf 55-year-old expressions blended from liquids finished in American, Spanish and Japanese Mizunara oak. This newly reformulated version, bottled at 43 percent ABV, took home a Gold Medal at the 2021 International Spirits Challenge, 18 years after first winning the award.
That shouldn't be a surprise to fans of Japanese single malts, as Yamazaki—a portmanteau-like combo of the Japanese words for "mountain (yama) and "cape" (saki)—is the country's oldest whisky distillery and among the most acclaimed. Shinjiro Torii first launched the Yamazaki brand in 1923 from the forest-clad mountains on the periphery of Kyoto, using the area's natural mineral water.
It's since spawned numerous beloved bottles, including the Yamazaki Sherry Cask 2013 that was named World's Best Whisky in Jim Murray's Whisky Bible 2015. The exercise in spirits excellence continues to this day with fifth-generation Chief Blender Shinji Fukuyo, who aimed to capitalize on the the magic of Mizurana oak with Yamazaki 25.
“My inspiration for Yamazaki 25 was the Yamazaki 1984 statement that was awarded the ultimate recognition of the Supreme Champion Spirit at the International Spirits Challenge in 2010,” said Fukuyo.
“We went back to the key component whiskies of Yamazaki. We deliberately chose to feature the depth and profound nature of the notable Japanese Mizunara Oak. For in its meticulous balance with the American and Spanish Oak, Yamazaki’s signature multi-layered taste profile and complex aroma is accentuated.”
See the official tasting notes below:
- Color: Amber
- Nose: Mizunara spiced notes of incense, followed by a complex bouquet of dried kaki persimmon and satsuma orange notes.
- Palate: Mizunara sandalwood notes that open and deepen into complex layers of dried kaki persimmon subtle sweetness, tart yuzu notes with gentle shoga ginger spicy notes
- Finish: Profound long finish of Mizunara spiced subtly sweet and tart wood notes that remain with lingering smoky accents.
Presented with label handcrafted with mulberry Echizen paper, Yamazaki 25 Single Malt Whisky launches soon in the U.S. with a $2,000. If you're having trouble hunting down a bottle, contact House of Suntory here.