Yamazaki 55 Years - the legacy of generations of master blenders

Suntory launches the $60,000 edition in selected countries


A whisky that makes the hearts of lovers of Japanese whisky gems beat faster: The Yamazaki 55 Years is the oldest bottling in the history of Suntory. Bottled in 2020, 100 bottles of this special edition were already released on the market in Japan. Another such batch has now been announced, which is intended for selected countries such as the USA, Great Britain, Germany, France, Taiwan and China.

Three generations of master blenders were involved in the creation of this special Yamazaki Japanese whisky: Under Suntory founder Shinjiro Torii, a component of this whisky was distilled in 1960 and filled in Mizunara oak barrels. A second component was created in 1964 under Keizo Saji, Suntory's second master blender, and was matured in white oak barrels. Shinji Fukuyo, Suntory's chief blender of the fifth generation, finally blended this Yamazaki 55 years in collaboration with Shingo Torii, master blender of the third generation.

Calm, mysterious and full of inner beauty

"Throughout the process of blending Yamazaki 55, I used as inspiration the passage of time and 'Wabi-sabi' – the Japanese belief that imperfections can help to ultimately contribute to perfection," said Fukuyo. "While I often view other extra aged whiskies as art, I consider Yamazaki 55 to be more like a Buddhist statue: calm and mysterious, requiring time to truly enjoy the inner beauty."

The Yamazaki 55 years will be available from October 2021. The press release cites a price of $60,000. Suntory donates $5,000 per bottle to the White Oak Initiative, which is committed to preserving American white oak forests.

Producer’s Tasting Notes for the Yamazaki 55 Years, 46% ABV

Colour: Deep amber distinctive of Mizunara casks.

Nose: A robust aroma redolent of sandal wood. A sweet, mature bouquet like well-ripened fruit.

Palate: A soft, smooth first sip that blossoms in the mouth with flavor. A mixture of sweet and slightly bitter, followed by a woody note from the Mizunara cask.

Finish: Slightly bitter, a fragrance like scented wood and a hint of smokiness. A sweet, rich, lingering finish.

Image: Beam Suntory