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A Japanese whisky distillery celebrates 100 glorious years

The legendary Yamazaki distillery completed its centenary this year

Yamazaki Distillery is celebrating 100 years of making Japanese whisky.
Yamazaki Distillery is celebrating 100 years of making Japanese whisky. (The House of Suntory,

Japan is often regarded as the land of sake and shochu. However, there are several companies in Japan that make whisky, with Suntory being the oldest one. One of their most famous distilleries, Yamazaki, is celebrating 100 years of production, reported Agence France-Presse (AFP) on Tuesday in an article titled 'Must-have' Japanese whisky turns 100 as demand soars.   

The industry has boomed in the last 20 years, starting with Nikka Whisky Distilling and Yamazaki Distillery receiving prestigious international awards like the Best of the Best award in 2001 organized by UK-based publication Whisky Magazine.   

Also Read | What is Japanese whisky?

Junpei Kusunoki, who is the manager of a bar in the Omotesando district called Tokyo Whisky Library told AFP, “The whisky boom is back.”   

Japanese whisky is a result of its “country of origin, with differences in climate, ingredients available, and fermentation and maturation processes” says a Lounge story titled What is Japanese whisky? published in 2022. The aim “is to ensure the highest quality of blends, and therefore, the whiskies embody the Japanese philosophy of monozukuri, which is a relentless pursuit of perfection with attention to detail and quality.” 

At present, the Yamazaki whisky is a single malt with a range of options, from 12, 18 and 25 years old with the drink being aged in American, Spanish, and Japanese mizunara (Quercus crispula) oak, which lends flavours of sandalwood and coconut. The whiskies are also multi-layered with flavours of fruit. In a Lounge story, titled Top 10 single malts in Indiapicked by a sommelier, beverage expert Nikhil Agarwal chooses the Yamazaki 12 year old as one of his favourite single malts. He says that the aroma is “peach, pineapple, grapefruit, clove, candied orange, vanilla, Mizunara (Japanese oak)” while the palate has “coconut, cranberry and butter with finishing notes of sweet ginger and cinnamon and a long finish.”  

Also Read | Top 10 single malts in India, picked by a sommelier


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