Suntory releases NAS Yamazaki and Hakushu whiskiesBy Becky Paskin
Suntory is releasing two no-age-statement Distiller’s Reserve whiskies from its Yamazaki and Hakushu distilleries it’s calling the “next chapter of Japanese whisky”.
The two single malt whiskies, named Yamazaki Distiller’s Reserve and Hakushu Distiller’s Reserve, are being launched in the UK and France in April, the brands’ priority markets.
As both whiskies contain a range of liquid aged from around eight to 20 years, the Japanese group has decided to refrain from branding the expressions with an age statement to better reflect the flavour profile of each product.
“Taking out the age statement gives us the flexibility to achieve the taste we want,” explained Keita Minari, senior brand manager for Suntory Europe.
With the two Distiller’s Reserve releases, Suntory claims to acknowledge that “age should not be the sole parameter in measuring quality”.
Blended by Suntory chief blender Shinji Fukuyo, the Yamazaki Distiller’s Reserve is a vatting of whisky matured in French oak Bordeaux wine casks, Sherry casks, mizunara casks (Japanese oak) and American oak casks, with some peated malt added.
Bottled at 43% abv, it’s described as delivering strawberry, cherry and oak on the nose, with raspberry, white peach and coconut on the palate.
Hakushu Distiller’s Reserve meanwhile is a blend of lightly peated malt, heavily peated malt, and whisky matured in American oak for around 18 years. Also bottled at 43% abv, it is described as tasting of yuzu, grapefruit and lemon thyme with a distinct distillery character that lends itself to mixing in Mizuwaris (Highballs).
Both expressions will be available at an RRP of £42 per 700ml. They will become available across additional select European markets in June 2014.