Artfully-designed, limited edition bottle represents both celebration and shared happiness with a kimono-inspired tabane-noshi pattern, released just in time for Christmas 2018
LONDON, UK – The House of Suntory, the founding house of Japanese Whisky, has announced the release of a specially-designed bottle of Hibiki Japanese Harmony. Designed to represent both celebration and shared happiness in honour of the 30th anniversary of the Suntory Whisky Hibiki brand, the limited edition bottle will be widely available in the UK at a suggested retail price of £100 (750ml) as of October 29, 2018.
Inspired by a traditional kimono pattern, the bottle is embellished with the tabane-noshi, a traditional Japanese symbol of celebration that has often adorned precious gifts since ancient times. Several noshi are bundled together to make Hibiki Japanese Harmony’s tabane-noshi design, which is extremely auspicious and symbolizes shared happiness with others.
“Since the brand was first established, Hibiki has been a representation of Japanese art and design,” said Takahiro Itoga, Senior Global Brand Director at Beam Suntory. “This specially-designed bottle honours that spirit, utilising traditional Japanese symbols to create a design representing both celebration and shared happiness. The bottle in and of itself is a work of art, making it the perfect gift for Christmas.”
The Hibiki brand was introduced to the world in 1989 and since then has been embraced as the paragon of the Art of Japanese Whisky. It is not only one of Japan’s most highly awarded blended whiskies, but also among the most prestigious and honoured whiskies in the world. Introduced in 2015, Hibiki Japanese Harmony is a harmonious blend blessed with the riches of Japanese nature and craftsmanship. Inspired by the riches and subtleties of Japan’s 24 seasons of the traditional Japanese lunar calendar and mastered by Suntory’s Art of Blending, Hibiki Japanese Harmony is a meticulous blend of the finest selection of malt and grain whiskies from the House of Suntory Whisky’s Yamazaki, Hakushu and Chita distilleries. This delicate blend creates a oneness unfolding a full orchestra of flavours and aromas.
Available from Harrods, Selfridges, The Whisky Shop and The Whisky Exchange from 29.10.18
TASTING NOTES: HIBIKI JAPANESE HARMONY – 43% ABV
Luminous. Delicate. A transparency that unveils complexity.
Nose: Rose, lychee, hint of rosemary, mature woodiness, sandalwood
Palate: Honey-like sweetness, candied orange peel, white chocolate
Finish: Subtle, tender long finish, with hint of Mizunara (Japanese oak)
ABOUT SUNTORY WHISKY
Suntory was established in 1899 and is headquartered in Tokyo, Japan. Since 1923, as the pioneer of Japanese whisky, Suntory Whisky has been renowned for its House of Master Blenders and for their Art of Blending. The founding father of Japanese whisky, Shinjiro Torii, built Japan’s first malt whisky distillery in Yamazaki. Nestled in the outskirts of Kyoto, this region was the birthplace of the traditional Japanese tea ceremony and is known for the purity of its waters. Torii dreamt of creating an authentically Japanese whisky by choosing a terrain and climate completely different to that of Scotland, thereby cultivating unique conditions for maturation.
In 1972, Torii’s son Keizo Saji, Suntory’s second master blender, built the Chita grain distillery near Nagoya to produce more of their own high-quality grain whiskies. In 1973, Saji founded the Hakushu distillery amidst the deep forests of Mt. Kaikomagatake in the Japanese Southern Alps with the goal of producing malt whiskies distinct from those made at Yamazaki. Its high altitude and lush environment are what differentiates Hakushu from other distilleries.
At each of these distilleries, a diverse array of whiskies are produced through various fermentation techniques, shapes and sizes of giant copper pot stills, and the wide variety of cask types used. Today, roughly 1,200,000 casks of whisky are quietly maturation in Suntory’s aging cellars. This tsukuriwake—variety in the making—allows for the blending opportunities that are essential to achieving the subtle, refined yet complex taste signature to Suntory Whiskies.
With respect to heritage and a commitment to innovation, third generation master Blender Shingo Torii, and grandson of Shinjiro, now leads this most highly awarded house of Japanese Whisky. The House of Suntory Whisky has been named four-time Distiller of the Year at the International Spirits Challenge in London, UK (2010, 2012, 2013, 2014).
The portfolio includes two single malt whiskies: Yamazaki – the pioneer of Japanese Single Malts, multi-layered and profound, and Hakushu – verdant, fresh, and delicately smoky; a single grain whisky: Chita—sublimely smooth, versatile and complex; and two blends: the noble blend, Hibiki – Japan’s most highly awarded blended whisky, and Suntory Whisky Toki – ideal for Japanese highballs.
whisky.suntory.com #SuntoryWhisky @SuntoryWhisky
ABOUT BEAM SUNTORY INC.
As the world’s third largest premium spirits company, Beam Suntory is Crafting the Spirits Brands that Stir the World. Consumers from all corners of the globe call for the company’s brands, including the iconic Jim Beam and Maker’s Mark bourbon brands and Suntory whisky Kakubin, as well as world renowned premium brands including Knob Creek bourbon, Yamazaki, Hakushu and Hibiki Japanese whiskies, Teacher’s, Laphroaig, and Bowmore Scotch whiskies, Canadian Club whisky, Courvoisier cognac, Hornitos and Sauza tequila, EFFEN and Pinnacle vodka, Sipsmith gin, and Midori liqueur.
Beam Suntory was created in 2014 by combining the world leader in bourbon and the pioneer in Japanese whisky to form a new company with a deep heritage, passion for quality, innovative spirit and commitment to Growing for Good. Headquartered in Chicago, Illinois, Beam Suntory is a subsidiary of Suntory Holdings Limited of Japan. For more information on Beam Suntory, its brands, and its commitment to social responsibility, please visit www.beamsuntory.com and www.drinksmart.com.
Every now and again we like to share with you news about The Macallan Masters of Photography series and tell you a little about what exciting new expressions are coming out. We also from time to time like to even share a few pictures which as they say tell a thousand words. On very special occasions we like to go even further and share a video or two which tell probably over a million words… On this occasion we have decided to do just that and introduce you to the latest in the Macallan Masters of Photography Steven Klein series courtesy of this rather special and intriguing video from Macallan.
Visit: The Macallan
This year, The Loch Lomond Distillery has the perfect Christmas gift selection for whisky lovers with its very own Three Wise Men; a specially crafted trio of 12 Year Old whiskies, each with its own unique style and character.
Traditionally, the ’12 days of Christmas’ marked the time between Christmas Day and the arrival of the three wise men; Gaspar, Balthasar, and Melchior, making this collection of 12 Year Olds the perfect way to toast the festive season.
Loch Lomond Distillery has also created a recommended serve for each expression representing each of the three gifts, to provide some added inspiration for those entertaining guests this Christmas – or perhaps even seeking a quiet moment to themselves…
Loch Lomond 12 Year Old – £39.99 – 46.0% ABV
Loch Lomond 12 Year Old has a deep fruity character of peach and pear layered with a vanilla sweetness and the characteristic hints of peat and smoke found in Loch Lomond Whiskies.
Matured in three different types of casks – bourbon, refill and re-charred – the expertly crafted iconic Loch Lomond whisky delivers a perfectly balanced single malt.
Inchmoan 12 Year Old – £46.99 – ABV 46.0%
Inchmoan 12 Year Old is born from a combination of malt whiskies from the distillery’s traditional swan neck and unique straight neck pot stills, to create a peat character of exceptional depth, marrying smoke and spiciness perfectly.
Matured for 12 years in a combination of re-charred American oak and refill bourbon American oak casks, it imparts sweet vanilla background notes that complement the soft peat style of Loch Lomond’s unique still set up.
Inchmurrin 12 Year Old – £44.99 – 46.0% ABV
The enchanting isle of Inchmurrin is the largest of Loch Lomond’s islands and its natural characteristics shine through in this exceptional single malt Scotch whisky.
Known as the ‘Grassy Isle’ the island is soft, rounded and wonderfully wooded, just like the whisky itself.
Inchmurrin 12 Year Old is aged in hand selected bourbon, refill and re-charred casks and then married together to create a lighter whisky with grassy notes and floral hints of pear drops, crème caramel, soft fruits, vanilla and fudge.
A distillery brand home manager who has been delighting visitors for five years about Benromach Speyside single malt Scotch whisky has become a Keeper of the Quaich at an exclusive ceremony at Blair Castle in Perthshire.
Susan Colville was invited to join the international and select society which recognises those who have shown outstanding commitment to the Scotch whisky industry.
Susan, who was born and raised in Speyside, joined the Forres-based distillery in 2013 to lead a dedicated team of guides who deliver a highly personal and up-close experience to thousands of visitors from all over the world each year.
Throughout 2018, as Benromach celebrates its 20th anniversary since production restarted, Susan has been driving an exciting programme of activity. She began by leading the team that staged the Spirit of Speyside Whisky Festival opening gala dinner in May and is helping to host colleague and trade events throughout the year.
Susan was thrilled to be honoured by the Keepers of the Quaich She said: “This has been an incredible year at the distillery, and to receive this accolade during our 20th anniversary is particularly special for me.
“As one of only a few distilleries in Scotland where every whisky is handcrafted without any automated equipment, we’ve worked hard to deliver tours and tastings to our visitors that are truly unique. Since 2013, we’ve seen a 40% increase in visitor numbers from across the globe.”
Susan, who lives in Elgin, Speyside with her husband and daughter, was determined to pursue a career in the Scotch whisky industry from an early age having been inspired by her father who worked for over 30 years as a distiller at Glenrothes Distillery.
Beginning her career as a tour guide at Glenfiddich and Glenfarclas Distilleries over the summer holidays, she then moved to Edinburgh to work for Royal Mile Whiskies. With a natural disposition for customer service and a love of Scotch whisky, Susan relished the opportunity to develop her knowledge and hone her sales skills.
Sales and marketing roles with Douglas Laing, AD Rattray, Wemyss and Glenglassaugh saw Susan travel the world, conducting countless masterclasses and tastings to an audience keen to learn and enjoy Scotch whisky.
Susan was acknowledged by her industry peers in 2012 when she was presented with the Young Ambassador of the Year accolade at the Icons of Whisky Awards. Following this recognition, Susan was named Visitor Centre Manager of the year at the World Whiskies Awards in 2015.
The venue for the Keepers of the Quaich ceremony – Blair Castle – is home to the Atholl Highlanders, Europe’s only private army. The banquet is held in the Grand Ballroom of the Castle, famous for its ceiling decorated with 175 deer antlers.
Keith Cruickshank, distillery manager at Benromach, commented: “Susan’s tireless commitment and significant contribution to our wonderful industry makes her an outstanding candidate to become a Keeper of the Quaich.
“She is a terrific ambassador for Scotch malt whisky and is truly deserving of this honour.”
Last month, Benromach Distillery, which attracts more than 13,000 visitors per year achieved its Five Star Visitor Attraction status from VisitScotland’s Quality Assurance scheme.
Glen Scotia distillery in Campbeltown is set to host one of the first performances of an exciting new opera set in a distillery and featuring music by Scot indie stars Admiral Fallow.
Navigate The Blood, which is written by Sian Evans, is about a couple whose son has disappeared in mysterious circumstances, with the action taking place in a small family distillery.
The new production combines singing, music, theatre and storytelling, and has been created to reflect the lives of the distillery community in Scotland. By being relevant to those based in Scotland’s distilling regions, it also aims to encourage new audiences to experience opera.
Distilling is an industry that employs, directly and indirectly, 41,000 people in Scotland and attracted two million tourists to various Scottish distilleries last year.
The contemporary opera features music by top Scottish indie-folk band, Admiral Fallow, who joined forces with composer Gareth Williams to push the collaborative boundaries and form this exciting new partnership. Working with Gareth, Sian and classical opera singers, they have embraced an intense writing process, resulting in a compelling first new work of modern opera by the talented and versatile musicians
The production will tour Scotland’s traditional distilling regions, from the Highlands, to the Lowlands, via Speyside, Islay and Campbeltown, where Glen Scotia will host the sole performance. Glen Scotia is one of only three surviving distilleries in Campbeltown, formerly known as the Victorian capital of Scotch.
Iain McAlister, Distillery Manager at Glen Scotia, said: “Navigate The Blood has been created to showcase Scotland’s distilling industry and we can’t wait for it to be performed here at Glen Scotia. Campbeltown, one of Scotland’s five official malt-producing regions, has a rich distilling heritage, with over 30 distilleries based in the town during its Victorian heyday when it was known as the Scotch capital of the world. We are extremely proud of our role as the sole host for Campbeltown.”
James Robert Carson, the founder and artistic director of New Opera in Scotland Events (NOISE), which is producing Navigate The Blood, said: “Scotland has a deep and historic involvement with the art of distilling. By performing Navigate the Blood in each of the five distinct distilling regions, NOISE has designed an opera that reflects and celebrates the success and continued innovation of this remarkable industry. The band Admiral Fallow and composer Gareth Williams have created a truly magical and original score, with a story set in a distillery.
“NOISE is delighted to be able to tour this new production to audiences who live and work in some of the country’s most important and unique working communities, such as Glen Scotia in Campbeltown.”
Navigate The Blood is to be performed at Glen Scotia Distillery on November 9. Tickets are available from www.seeticket.com.
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