The 2022 Yamazaki Limited Edition Tsukuriwake Selection is a set of four incredible single malts that are a taste of the component whiskies that go into our beloved Yamazaki whisky.

Just when you think your favourite Yamazaki whisky can’t get any pricier, the House of Suntory goes all out to prove you wrong. Case in point? Its newly announced 2022 Yamazaki Limited Edition Tsukuriwake Selection.

Initially launched in Japan in 2020, the new limited edition collection of four whiskies pays tribute to the Japanese concept of ‘tsukuriwake’, or ‘artisanship through a diversity of making’ according to Yamazaki. Each of the four whiskies – Puncheon, Peated Malt, Spanish Oak, and Mizunara – represent a ‘foundation pillar’ of what makes Yamazaki whisky since the brand’s inception in 1984.

Just so you’re mentally prepared, we’re going to let you in on the recommended retail price first before you read the rest of this story – a set will cost you S$25,000 when it launches here in Singapore later this August.

As you can surmise from their names, each whisky in the 2022 Yamazaki Limited Edition Tsukuriwake Selection corresponds to a particular ageing regime used to make Yamazaki.

Let’s break each of them down.

2022 Yamazaki Limited Edition Tsukuriwake Selection - Puncheon

Yamazaki Puncheon

Considered the heart of Yamazaki single malt, the Yamazaki Puncheon single malt whisky comprises of spirit that’s been aged exclusively in puncheons crafted by Suntory coopers from hand-selected American oak. Puncheons come in at around 480 litres – almost as big as a sherry butt but offers more surface contact for wood interaction, which gives the spirit complexity and vibrancy.

Official Tasting Notes

Colour: Pale gold
Nose: Green apple, mature pear, acacia honey with hint of vanilla
Palate: Clean, velvety, and mild, with delicate butterscotch notes
Finish: Oaky woodiness with subtle sweetness

Peated Malt

Yamazaki Peated Malt

When it comes to peated whiskies from Suntory we think Hibiki, not Yamazaki. But apparently there is. Yamazaki’s first-ever full peated expression was the Yamazaki Peated Malt 2018, released as part of Japan-only “The Essence of Suntory” collection a few years back. This Yamazaki Peated Malt is the second, and showcases what Yamazaki considers its ‘hidden accent’. Unlike your Islay peat bombs, this expression is gentle and refined, offering subtle smoky, earthy and grassy notes gives additional layers to its signature house style.

Official Tasting Notes

Colour: Bright gold
Nose: Subtly smoky with green herbal notes
Palate: Gently peated with hints of earthiness, pineapple and citrus notes
Finish: Complex with lingering peatiness

2022 Yamazaki Limited Edition Tsukuriwake Selection - Spanish Oak

Yamazaki Spanish Oak

Are you a fan of heavily sherried whiskies? Good news, the Yamazaki Spanish Oak in the 2022 Yamazaki Limited Edition Tsukuriwake Selection is the one for you. This comes from spirit meticulously aged in sherry-seasoned casks made from top quality and highly-prized oak from northern Spain. As with most sherried whiskies, this offers a delicately rich and decadent palate rife with both fresh and stewed fruit notes, which is expected of a component that Yamazaki uses as a quintessential flavour depth-enhancer.

Official Tasting Notes

Colour: Rich reddish amber
Nose: Dried raisins and prunes, with hints of sundried tomatoes
Palate: Delicately rich and decadent with subtle acidity
Finish: Buttery with lingering acidity and hint of bitterness

2022 Yamazaki Limited Edition Tsukuriwake Selection - Mizunara

Yamazaki Mizunara

Yet what really sets Yamazaki apart from pretty much almost every other whisky is the use of Mizunara oak. Sure, other brands do sometimes offer up a Mizunara oak expression – there was the Bowmore Mizunara Cask Finish that appeared in 2015, for example, or the more recent Chivas Mizunara Blended Scotch Whisky. But Yamazaki is probably the pioneer in using that species of oak native to Japan, which imbues distinctive Japanese spice and incense-like notes to spirit aged in such casks. The Yamazaki Mizunara spotlights the signature enhancer Yamazaki uses to give its whiskies a quintessential Japanese character and an Oriental elegance.

Official Tasting Notes

Colour: Amber
Nose: Rich and elegant top note, custard cream, cinnamon
Palate: Gentle on the tongue, aromatic and round with spiced sweet notes
Finish: Distinctive deep woody notes reminiscent of Japanese incense

Each expression is bottled at 48% ABV.

As we said, the 2022 Yamazaki Limited Edition Tsukuriwake Selection isn’t cheap. This especially so that each of these expressions is a non-age statement (NAS) whisky (although we understand that the Mizunara is aged around 10-11 years, while the rest sit around the 8-year mark).

Which makes them remarkably pricy by any standard. But if you really want to understand the diversity and unique provenance that goes into the making of Japan’s most lauded whisky – Yamazaki’s ‘tsukuriwake’ – this collection is a good way to do it.

The 2022 Yamazaki Limited Edition Tsukuriwake Selection will be available this year in select global markets including the United States, the United Kingdom, Germany, France, Austria, Spain, Singapore, Taiwan, China, South Korea, Thailand, and Australia. In Singapore, the full collection will be available from August 2022 at selected The Whisky Distillery stores, as well as online from Wines & Spirits which is selling a full set for S$25,000.

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