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Yamazaki unveils 2022 single malt line

The House of Suntory has revealed a limited edition Yamazaki Japanese single malt collection, including a mizunara cask-matured whisky.

Yamazaki 2022 collection
The Yamazaki 2022 releases honour the brand’s ‘tsukuriwake’ way of whisky making

The new 2022 Yamazaki Limited Edition Tsukuriwake Selection is said to introduce the foundation pillars of the single malt brand – puncheon, peated malt, Spanish oak and mizunara. Yamazaki has been made using the same four components since its launch in 1984.

The new four-strong line pays tribute to ‘tsukuriwake’, a Japanese word which means ‘artisanship through a diversity of making’.

The brand said it is unique in its use of multiple strengths of non-peated and peated grain varieties, two types of wash backs, eight pairs of pot stills in various shapes and maturation in four different oak casks (French, Spanish, Japanese and American) with three varying cask sizes in American oak.

The brand’s story dates back to 1923 when Shinjiro Torii built Japan’s first malt distillery in Yamazaki.

“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,” said Suntory’s fifth-generation chief blender Shinji Fukuyo.

“The 2022 Yamazaki Limited Edition Tsukuriwake Selection honours 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.”

2022 collection

The range includes Yamazaki Puncheon, comprised of malt whiskies aged in American oak puncheons.

The brand said the use of the large casks, approximately 480 litres, allows the liquid to mature slowly, resulting in a whisky with ‘complexity and vibrance’.

The expression has a nose of green apple, mature pear and acacia honey with a hint of vanilla, alongside a ‘velvety and mild’ palate with butterscotch notes.

Meanwhile, the Peated Malt bottling is made using heavily peated malted barley, which is blended to create a whisky with ‘smoky, earthy’ notes.

The nose is ‘subtly smoky with green herbal notes’ and a ‘gently peated’ palate with hints of earthiness, pineapple and citrus notes.

The Yamazaki Spanish Oak bottling combines malt whiskies matured in oak casks from northern Spain, which provide a ‘rich and decadent palate with subtle acidity and fruity aromas’.

The resulting liquid offers an aroma of dried raisins, prunes and sun-dried tomatoes, and a ‘buttery’ finish with a hint of bitterness.

The final whisky in the range is made using rare Japanese mizunara oak, with the liquid undergoing a long maturation in the casks to add a ‘distinctive Japanese spiciness and incense-like flavour of sandalwood and agarwood’.

The whisky provides a ‘rich and elegant top note’ on the nose with custard cream and cinnamon hints. The palate is ‘aromatic and round with spiced sweet notes’, followed by a ‘deep woody’ finish.

The 2022 Yamazaki Limited Edition Tsukuriwake Selection was initially released in Japan in 2020.

The collection will debut in certain global markets next month including the US, the UK, Germany, France, Austria, Spain, Singapore, Taiwan, China, South Korea, Thailand and Australia.

In the UK, the range will be available from 13 June in select retailers, including The Whisky Exchange.

Each expression is bottled at 48% ABV and has an RRP of US$450 (£500 in the UK), except for the mizunara bottling (RRP US$620/£700).

Last year, House of Suntory redeveloped the recipe for its 25-year-old Yamazaki single malt.

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