Of late it has gotten harder to get your hands on a bottle of Yamazaki, or a Hakushu, thanks to an explosive surge in demand for Japanese whiskies worldwide. Suntory is fully aware of this, and recently expanded its production capacity at both distilleries. Now, they are introducing two new whiskies to its lineup, and will once again be able to put a glass in your hand and a smile on your face.
Suntory doesn’t simply add new ranges to its regular lineup often so these two new additions are kind of a big deal. While these two whiskies have no age statements, but they still display a delicate elegance that Japanese whiskies are famous for. Perhaps more importantly, they have taste profile that’s similar to their age-declared stablemates; slapdash shelf fillers they certainly are not. Plus, they taste great neat, on the rocks, or as a Highball, so they’re great recommendations for friends starting out on Japanese whiskies, or whiskies in general.
Yamazaki Distiller’s Reserve
A classic Yamazaki with a slight twist; it contains young whisky finished in French oak wine casks from Bordeaux, adding notes of strawberry. It is combined with older whiskies matured in sherry casks and Mizunara casks to give you a surprisingly drinkable and complex whisky, despite its perceived ‘lack’ of age.
Official tasting notes
Nose: Strawberry, cherry, Japanese oak
Palate: Raspberry, white peach, touch of coconut
Finish: Sweet vanilla, clean finish, hint of cinnamon
43% AVB, 700ml
Hakushu Distiller’s Reserve
Yamazaki’s more pensive cousin, with subtly herbal and smoky notes. It is made with a combination of lightly peated young malt whisky, heavily peated Hakushu, as well as whiskies aged in American white oak casks. Its light and refreshing nature also makes it great for Highballs.
Colour: Light gold
Nose: Peppermint, melon, cucumber
Palate: Yuzu, grapefruit, lemon thyme
Finish: Refreshing, subtle smoke
43% AVB, 700ml
The Yamazaki and Hakushu Distiller’s Reserve are available at the Duty-Free Section at Changi Airport, and are also carried at leading hotels, premium Japanese restaurants, international bars, clubs and lounges. They will also be featured at the Whisky and Wine Experience booths (W01-W17) at Beerfest Asia this June 12-15.