Suntory unveils reformulated Yamazaki 25

Japanese whisky maker House of Suntory has redeveloped the recipe for its 25-year-old Yamazaki single malt.

The reformulated whisky now marries spirits aged in three types of oak – American, Spanish and Japanese mizunara – bringing it in line with the 12-year-old and 18-year-old Yamazaki expressions. Shinji Fukuyo, the producer's chief blender, said his inspiration for the new blend recipe was the limited edition Yamazaki 1984 single malt, which was created to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the distillery and the 110th anniversary of Suntory. “We went back to the key component whiskies of Yamazaki," he explained. "We deliberately chose to feature the depth and profound nature of the notable Japanese mizunara oak. For in its meticulous balance with the American and Spanish oak, Yamazaki’s signature multi-layered taste profile and complex aroma is accentuated.” The 43% ABV expression offers spiced notes of incense on the nose, bolstered by layers of dried kaki persimmon and and satsuma orange. On the palate, sandalwood unfolds to more persimmon sweetness, plus tart yuzu and spicy ginger. The whisky finishes with spiced, sweet and tart wood notes and hints of smoke. The bottle features a label printed on mulberry Echizen paper, handmade through a traditional Japanese process of drying the sheets on wood boards. Yamazaki 25 Single Malt Whisky is priced at RRP US$2,000 per 750ml. A coveted brand among collectors, Yamazaki set a new record last August when a 55-year-old bottling was purchased for HK$6.2 million (US$795,000), becoming the most expensive Japanese whisky sold at auction. In February, the Japan Spirits and Liqueurs Makers Association released new guidelines for the production and labelling of Japanese whiskies. Earlier this year, we examined how these updated requirements could impact the future of the category.