Shinjiro Torii, founder of Suntory, envisioned a whisky filled with the essence of Japanese nature and handcrafted by artisans. Although initially inspired by traditional Scottish whisky, Torii envisioned a Japanese approach by choosing a terrain and climate completely different from those of Scotland. The region of Yamazaki on the outskirts of Kyoto is the birthplace of Japanese whisky. “Suntory Whisky embodies the harmony that exists between Japanese nature and Japanese people. This unique fusion establishes Suntory Whisky as an art form.”
The water represents the spiritual inspiration for Suntory. The region of Yamazaki is origin to one of Japan’s purest waters. The temperature and humidity fluctuations of the four seasons in Japan enrich the aging process of Suntory Whisky. The changes in temperature greatly affect cask “breathing.” These forces of nature combine to breathe life into Suntory Whisky.
Suntory produces a diverse array of malt and grain whiskies at its three distilleries. The original Suntory Yamazaki Distillery Is Japan’s first and oldest malt whisky distiller established in 1923. The diversity of this region’s temperature and humidity creates ideal conditions for cask aging, known as the signature “Suntory Maturation. The Suntory Hakushu Distillery was founded half a century after Yamazaki. It is without question one of the highest distilleries in the world, built amidst the forests of Mt. Kaikomagatake in the Japanese Southern Alps. In 1972, Keizo Saji, Suntory’s second Master Blender, built a distillery on the misty, calm shores of Chita Peninsula, dedicated to creating the highest quality of Japanese grain whisky. Through many years of research and innovation, the Chita Distillery’s grain whiskies have achieved an unrivaled sophistication and complexity – culminating in the Chita Single Grain Whisky.
Suntory had a starring role in Sofia Coppola’s Lost in Translation, in which Bill Murray films a commercial for the spirit, repeating the phrase “For relaxing times, make it Suntory time” over and over again!