With the launch of the 2022 Yamazaki Limited Edition Tsukuriwake Selection, the House of Suntory has unveiled the foundational pillars of Yamazaki Single Malt Whisky – Puncheon, Peated Malt, Spanish Oak, and Mizunara. The collection honors Tsukuriwake, which means “artisanship through a diversity of making” and is embraced by the Founding House of Japanese Whisky.
Launched in 1984, Yamazaki Single Malt Whisky is known for featuring four foundational pillars: Puncheon, Peated Malt, Spanish Oak, and Mizunara. Innovation in Japanese Whisky is known to occur at the back end – in maturation or blending, but few understand the diversity of the whisky components that it takes to achieve this depth and gravitas. The House of Suntory’s Tsukuriwake in Yamazaki uniquely prides itself in multiple strengths of non-peated and peated grain varieties, two types of wash backs, eight pairs with various shapes of pot stills and maturation in four different oak casks (French, Spanish, Japanese, and American) with three cask size differences in American Oak.
“What excited me most about this launch is that just one year before the 100th anniversary of Suntory Whisky, we can finally share the full story behind our Tsukuriwake way of whisky making, which was born from the Founding House of Japanese Whisky,” says Suntory’s Fifth-Generation Chief Blender Shinji Fukuyo. “The 2022 Yamazaki Limited Edition Tsukuriwake Selection honors the fact that greatness comes from diversity. And in doing so, we unveil what truly makes Yamazaki Single Malt Whisky the authority of Japanese Whisky.”
The story of Yamazaki is the story of Japanese Whisky. In 1923, when Shinjiro Torii built Japan’s first malt distillery in Yamazaki, he had no one with whom to exchange and broaden his malt repertoire. Being the Founding House of Japanese Whisky meant that the House of Suntory had no choice but to build its own approach to crafting whisky. Experimenting with a variety of grain types, wash backs, distillation methods, casks and blending techniques resulting in the House of Suntory’s Tsukuriwake style. Through years of experimentation, repeated trial and error, perseverance and persistence, it took three generations, three Master Blenders and five Chief Blenders to transform what happened out of necessity into one of the key signatures of the House of Suntory.
The 2022 Yamazaki Limited Edition Tsukuriwake Selection, initially released in Japan in 2020, will be available in the next month in select global markets including the United States, the United Kingdom, Germany, France, Austria, Spain, Singapore, Taiwan, China, South Korea, Thailand and Australia. Each expression is bottled at 48% ABV and has a suggested retail price of $450 USD with the exception of the Mizunara bottling, which has a suggested retail price of $620 USD.
The Puncheon is considered as the “heart” of what makes Yamazaki Single Malt, Yamazaki.
The Yamazaki Puncheon Single Malt Whisky is comprised of meticulously selected malts aged exclusively in puncheons crafted by Suntory artisans from hand selected American oak. With a capacity of approximately 480 liters, these large casks allow malt whiskies to mature slowly, imbuing them with a complexity and vibrance. The Puncheon cask malt whiskies impart their subtle notes essential to the delicate base of the Yamazaki Single Malt.
- Tasting Notes:
- Color: 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
Yamazaki Peated Malt
The Peated Malt is considered the “hidden accent” giving Yamazaki its complexity and lingering finish.
The Yamazaki Peated Malt is comprised of meticulously selected heavily peated malted barley that is masterfully blended to create the quintessential Yamazaki Peated Malt that is gentle and refined. The Peated malt whiskies impart their subtly smoky, earthy notes essential to the complexity of the Yamazaki Single Malt.
- Color: 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
Yamazaki Spanish Oak
The Spanish Oak is considered as the depth-enhancer giving Yamazaki its quintessential multi-layered full flavor with mature fruity notes. The Yamazaki Spanish Oak is comprised of meticulously selected malt whiskies matured in the highest quality oak casks originating from Northern Spain. The Spanish oak cask malt whiskies impart a delicately rich and decadent palate with subtle acidity and fruity aromas, essential to the multi-layered flavor profile of the Yamazaki Single Malt.
- Color: 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
Mizunara is a species of oak native to Japan and is considered the signature enhancer giving Yamazaki its quintessential Japanese character and elegance. Whiskies which undergo a long maturation in Mizunara casks take on a distinctive Japanese spiciness and incense-like flavor of sandalwood and agarwood. The Yamazaki Mizunara Single Malt Whisky is comprised of meticulously selected long-matured malt whiskies showcasing the rare, distinctive beauty of the hand crafted Mizunara casks. The Mizunara cask malt whiskies impart their enigmatic spicy notes essential to the signature taste of the Yamazaki Single Malt.
- Color: 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
For more information, head over to Suntory’s official website.
Last summer, the House of Suntory introduced a reformulated Yamazaki 25.