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House of Suntory creates GTR-exclusive whiskies

The House of Suntory has released two travel retail-exclusive Japanese whiskies: Yamazaki Peated Malt Spanish Oak and Hakushu Peated Malt Spanish Oak.

House of Suntory 2024 Kogei Collection
The travel retail-exclusive Kogei Collection will feature new designs every two years

The two 43% ABV expressions, which form the 2024 Kogei Collection, aim to showcase the fusion of peated malt and Spanish oak.

The word ‘kogei’ can be translated as ‘traditional Japanese craftsmanship’.

Master blender Shinji Fukuyo started with the peat-smoking of malt from Islay, then matured the whiskies in Spanish oak casks that were aged during the four seasons of Japan. The casks bring out a selection of spices to the Yamazaki expression.

Yamazaki Peated Malt Spanish Oak offers creamy notes of dark mocha, raisins and almonds. On the palate, the whisky provides a ‘deep smooth smokiness, enhanced with rich, roasted cacao’. The long finish leads to bittersweet caramelised baking spices.

The use of Spanish oak casks also led to a Hakushu with drier smoke and undertones of fruity sweetness, the House of Suntory said.

The aroma of Hakushu Peated Malt Spanish Oak blends ‘rich floral notes of bitter orange marmalade and softly smoky dark chocolate’. On the palate, liquid offers an ‘elegant smokiness, balanced with sweet, subtle citrus, leading a lingering yet clean finish with gentle smoke and tartness’.

Beam Suntory’s global travel retail (GTR) managing director, Ashish Gandham, said: “The Kogei Collection is a new milestone for our whisky portfolio – and for the travel retail channel – and illustrates perfectly our commitment to combining premiumisation with sought-after exclusives.”

Kimono collaboration

The design of the whiskies, known as the 2024 Japanese Kimono Edition, was created in partnership with Kyoto-based kimono house Chiso.

Featuring designs based on Chiso kimonos, the Yamazaki packaging incorporates intricate prints inspired by the Yamazaki distillery, with the depiction of three merging rivers to suggest a sense of calmness.

The Hakushu packaging is based on the Japanese Southern Alps that surround the Hakushu distillery. This design features silver stamping, designed to evoke forest clouds and kimono threads.

The travel retail collection will be refreshed every two years with new packaging designs.

“The Japanese Kimono Editions of our 2024 Kogei Collection are a true embodiment of craft through inspired innovation,” added Beam Suntory brand marketing director, GTR, Manuel Gonzalez. “I’m sure these exceptional expressions will capture the imagination of whisky lovers and collectors, and drive engagement and trade-up for us and our retail partners.”

The whiskies will be available in the following airports: Singapore Changi, Dubai International, London Heathrow, Los Angeles International, Paris CDG, Frankfurt, Amsterdam Schiphol, Istanbul, Shanghai, Beijing Capital International, Hainan, Hong Kong International, Taipei Taoyuan, Seoul Incheon, Delhi Indira Gandhi International, Mumbai Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj International, Hamad International, Sydney, Melbourne and Bangkok Suvarnabhumi.

The 2024 Kogei Collection made its global debut on 1 April at the House of Suntory’s first travel retail boutique, located in Singapore Changi’s Terminal 3.

The launch will be supported by an installation at Dubai International at the end of May, followed by activations in Singapore Changi and London Heathrow in July.

Smaller-scale airport activations are also planned for Los Angeles, Shanghai, Hainan, Doha, Sydney, Paris and Delhi.

The Japan Spirits & Liqueurs Makers Association created voluntary labelling standards for Japanese whisky in 2021, which the House of Suntory can now apply to all of its exported products.

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