The 2021 artfully designed limited edition bottle of Hibiki® Japanese Harmony illustrates the Japanese philosophy of harmony expressed through the cyclical passage of the seasons.
London, UK (October 21, 2021) – The House of Suntory, the founding House of Japanese Whisky, announces the release of a specially-designed, limited edition bottle of Hibiki® Japanese Harmony™. Adorned with painted flowers and flowing ribbons of water, this one-of-a-kind bottle was designed to represent the vital force of Japan’s everchanging twenty-four seasons. This limited-edition bottle will be available to purchase from Master of Malt and The Whisky Exchange.
From its introduction in 1989, the Hibiki bottle is presented with 24 facets. The design symbolises the 24 hours of a day, as well as the 24 seasons of the year in the traditional Japanese lunar calendar. The 2021 limited edition pays tribute to the Ryusui-Hyakka (One-Hundred Flowers and Flowing Water). The design motif epitomises the cyclical passage of time, showcasing the blossoms of the Japanese twenty-four seasons juxtaposed with the ever-changing flow of water that connects one passing season to another. The Hibiki bottle celebrates the much-loved blooms, colors and shapes of seasonal flowers that make the Japanese year so special. A deep appreciation for the seasons and a sensitivity for the passage of time accounts for the Japanese culture’s unique sense of harmony with nature. In tune with Suntory’s philosophy, the design bottle series is the next iteration of the brand’s continuous pursuit of harmony.
“The iconic Hibiki bottle has always been a representation of Japanese art and design, as represented by the many limited-edition series over the past ten years,” said Jon Potter, Managing Director of the House of Suntory. “This specially-designed bottle is not only the continuation of this artistic expression, it honours Hibiki and Suntory’s ethos to live in Harmony with nature. In 2021, this philosophy may echo with the world more than ever.”
The Hibiki brand was introduced to the world in 1989 and since then has been embraced as the paragon of Japanese Whisky. It is not only Japan’s most highly awarded blended whisky, 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. 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 flavors and aromas.
Whether for an elevated gifting occasion or a personal indulgence, the 2021 Hibiki limited edition is an invitation to appreciate and enjoy Japanese harmony. Hibiki Japanese Harmony 2021 Limited Edition is available for a suggested retail price of £134 for the 700ml bottle.
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)
The Macallan has unveiled The Macallan Harmony Collection Rich Cacao, the first limited edition whisky in an innovative new series of single malts that will see the brand progress its journey towards sustainable packaging.
Inspired by The Macallan’s deep-rooted connection to nature for nearly 200 years, The Harmony Collection is an exploration into the world of sustainable packaging, which will fuse innovative techniques with materials from the natural world at the end of their life to see them reborn with a renewed purpose.
To create the first edition in this new limited annual release series, The Macallan Whisky Maker Polly Logan embarked on a unique journey to Girona, Spain, where she immersed herself in the world of chocolate, exploring the chocolate-making process and uncovering the distinctive flavour profiles.
Polly collaborated with world-renowned pastry chef, Jordi Roca, the youngest of the acclaimed Roca brothers of El Celler de Can Roca, with whom The Macallan has a long-standing relationship. As part of the exploration, she visited Jordi’s famed chocolate factory, Casa Cacao in Girona and she also spent time with master chocolatier, Damian Allsop. Through this unique experience, Polly drew inspiration from the duo’s passion, knowledge and creativity to create The Macallan Harmony Collection Rich Cacao, searching the sherry seasoned oak casks maturing at The Macallan Estate to identify rare, indulgent chocolate notes.
Crafted from a harmonious combination of European and American oak casks, the result is an exceptionally rich single malt whisky characterised by a deep, dark chocolate profile, which pairs perfectly with the richest chocolate for a luxurious sensorial experience.
In homage to its chocolate inspiration, The Macallan Harmony Collection Rich Cacao is encased in a beautiful fully recyclable and biodegradable presentation box, made using natural by-products in the chocolate-making process. The box is crafted without compromise using discarded husks from cacao pods and brings together The Macallan’s renowned craftsmanship with contemporary packaging techniques aimed at minimising waste.
Sustainability has been a constant guiding principle for The Macallan since it began crafting its single malt whisky in perfect harmony with the beautiful nature that surrounds The Macallan Estate in Scotland’s Speyside in 1824.
Polly Logan, Whisky Maker for The Macallan, said: “The Macallan Harmony Collection Rich Cacao is a wonderful expression which brings together the world of whisky with the fascinating world of chocolate.
“Working in collaboration with Jordi Roca, acknowledged as one of the best and most creative pastry chefs in the world, and with exceptional chocolatier, Damian Allsop, I went on a journey of discovery, learning of the craftsmanship, passion and creativity which goes into making chocolate.
“As I immersed myself in this world, I uncovered a great synergy between the whisky-making process and that of chocolate. Both take time and exceptional attention to detail, with even the slightest changes to the process encouraging different aromas and flavours to emerge.
“For this expression, I sought out a specific chocolate note in The Macallan’s traditional sherry seasoned European oak casks and combined this with a vanilla note imparted by sherry seasoned American oak casks to sweeten the slightly bitter chocolate note I had found. This exquisite single malt offers a delightful whisky and chocolate pairing experience and the chance to elevate The Macallan experience to a new dimension.”
Jordi Roca said: “Our collaboration with The Macallan allows us to challenge our own creativity, and in this project, we have been allowed to play with cacao, which is one of my passions. Being able to inspire a whisky and to create a unique tasting experience has been wonderful.
The Macallan Harmony Collection Rich Cacao has an RRSP of £115 and will be available at The Macallan Estate, TheMacallan Online Boutique and premium retailers, bars and restaurants around the world from October 2021. For further information visit www.themacallan.com
The Macallan has unveiled A Night On Earth In Scotland single malt whisky, which reveals the story of Scotland’s world-famous Hogmanay festivities and captures the universal joy of celebrating the change of year.
The first in a new limited edition gifting series, A Night On Earth In Scotland is a collaboration with acclaimed Japanese-French illustrator Erica Dorn, whose artwork has featured in leading director Wes Anderson’s films. She has also previously created designs for some of the world’s leading luxury brands.
Presented as part of innovative multi-layered packaging that provides an exceptional unboxing experience, Erica Dorn’s playful abstract illustrations are inspired by the historic fire rituals dominant in New Year celebrations around the world.
They also reveal some of the distinctive customs of Scotland’s Hogmanay, including the tradition of first footing when it is good luck for a dark-haired visitor to be the first person to enter your home after midnight, bearing symbolic gifts – whisky, coal and Scottish shortbread – that aim to bring comfort and happiness in the year ahead.
Other design elements focus on the flavours found within the remarkable whisky crafted by The Macallan Lead Whisky Maker, Sarah Burgess, who drew on fond family memories of Hogmanay to create a rich, evocative single malt.
Sarah Burgess said: “Crafting A Night On Earth In Scotland has been an extremely personal experience for me, which took me back to growing up in our family home in Speyside, just across the river from The Macallan Estate.
“The whisky’s vanilla sweetness references the rich Scottish shortbread traditionally gifted and eaten at Hogmanay, while notes of dried orange and spice recall the flavours and aromas that filled our house through the festive season.
“Encapsulating the hopes and dreams of Hogmanay celebrations past, present and future, it also conveys the unwavering human desire to spend special times with loved ones.”
Erica Dorn said: “Fire plays a significant role in New Year celebrations around the world. Around its warmth we gather our families, friends, and loved ones to share past memories and future hopes. Through its purifying qualities we release the past to clear the way for the future. In its dancing light we find solace from cold winter nights, as we have done since the dawn of time. Though the fire rituals may differ from culture to culture, fire is universal in its ability to unite us and bring us ‘home’.
“The colours for this presentation box were selected with a particular journey in mind: first, red for merriment, vitality, good fortune and joy; blue to remind us of a winter evening in Scotland, in all its peace and stillness; and finally, amber – in tribute to the sweet aroma of soft butter and freshly baked shortbread, which were an inspiration for Sarah Burgess in the creation of this whisky.”
This very special single malt was created from a selection of The Macallan’s exceptional sherry seasoned American and European oak casks, along with American ex-bourbon barrels to deliver its rich, sweet shortbread-like character. With a soft, velvety mouth-feel, it showcases the skill of the whisky maker, and The Macallan’s commitment to craftsmanship and uncompromised excellence.
For further information, visit www.themacallan.com.
September 2021, London // Bowmore® Islay Single Malt Scotch Whisky will introduce a new collection of aged and rare vintages available in the UK at the start of 2022. The new launches, perfect for collectors, drinkers, and investors alike; showcase some of the rarest whiskies from the iconic Bowmore distillery and bring a totally new aged expression to the global portfolio.
The collection includes the last in the highly successful 50-year-old vaults series, the highly desired Bowmore 1969, as well as the exclusive 2021 releases of Bowmore 30-year-old and Bowmore 40-year-old.
For over 240 years, Bowmore Distillery has been capturing the essence of Islay from the shores of its remote island home. Shaped by time, the single malts harness this in every single drop which tell a story of the past, savoured in the present. Each vintage single malt is defined, shaped, and crafted by time.
David Turner, Bowmore Distillery Manager, comments: “These exquisite, aged and rare launches are a credit to the Bowmore portfolio and continue to drive our desire to produce highly revered products. We have been able to showcase how vital time is to each individual vintage, how time spent in casks shape and influences each spirit, making it even more characterful. Each release tells the rich stories of Bowmore, but importantly have their own unique style and character.”
Bowmore 1969 | 46.9% abv | A rarity of the 1960s
The final launch in the 50-year-old vaults series, Bowmore 1969 follows in the footsteps of the successful 1965, 1966 and 1964 releases. An extremely rare single malt, Bowmore 1969 has been meticulously nurtured over five decades. During this lengthy union between spirit and oak, a defining character has emerged, becoming increasingly richer as fruit and smoke flavours remain constant. The taste is almost undefinable; an enigma of flavours which have shaped Bowmore’s legacy, defining the most definitive of decades.
This exceptional limited edition, combining the finest American oak ex-bourbon barrels and hogsheads, unlocks several aromas. Perfectly unifying fragrant and floral notes contrasting with citrus and sweetness to bring rich warmth to this Bowmore single malt whisky.
Bowmore 1969 will retail at £35,000
Bowmore 30-year-old | 45.1% abv | 2021 annual limited release
Bottled in 2000 from vintage 1989 stock, this rare single malt whisky has been carefully nurtured for three decades in the finest Sherry hogsheads and Bourbon barrels. Selected from just two casks each year, this exceptional single malt embodies the last thirty years in the very core of its character.
Bottled at a cask strength of 45.1%, this 30-Year-Old is a celebration of Bowmore’s rich fruity and subtly smoky style. With a burnished gold natural colour, this whisky offers up aromas of ripe apricot, charred pineapple, mango and butterscotch. Whilst on the palate, tropical fruits and honey sweetness unite with subtle peat smoke and hints of eucalyptus, ensuring a warming and lingering finish.
Bowmore 30-year-old will retail at £2,000
Inspired by the art of time and the sea front location of the Bowmore Distillery, the colours and textures of Islay’s ancient stone and bleached driftwood are encompassed within this limited release. Ideal for the collector and investor, this whisky is on a limited run of 159 bottles globally.
Bottled at a cask strength of 48.7%, 40-Year-Old is a deep rich mahogany colour, and offers up aromas of honey, treacle and. exotic fruits combined with beeswax and caramel. On the palate, pipe tobacco and chocolate unite with spices, leather, chestnuts, and pralines giving the whisky a long, lingering, and luxurious finish.
Bowmore 40-year-old will retail at £6,750
All three releases in the ultimate rare collection will be available in the UK from January 2022 in specialist whisky retailers.
The Macallan has introduced Double Cask 30 Years Old into the coveted Double Cask range.
The new aged single malt whisky in the distinctive Double Cask flavour profile exhibits a rich depth of flavour and a complex character and tells the story of a journey which brings together two different worlds.
The Macallan Double Cask 30 Years Old has matured for 30 years in a harmonious union of sherry seasoned American and European oak casks, to create a sweeter, warmer taste and character. The sherry seasoned American oak imparts delicate, sweet flavours, while the European oak delivers the subtle and classic style of The Macallan.
The Macallan has collaborated with acclaimed American artist and photographer, Erik Madigan Heck to showcase the signature tastes and unique and distinctive flavour profile of Double Cask 30 Years Old. Heck shares many of The Macallan’s values including Nature, Legacy, Artistry, Creativity and Craftsmanship. Taking his inspiration from the natural landscape on The Macallan Estate and the complex flavours and natural colour of the whisky, he captured powerful imagery evoking the single malt’s character, depicting its flavours, textures and colour in a unique and contemporary way.
Heck’s incredible photography set features three striking compositions: a collection of ‘abstract leaves’ from an oak tree which like the whisky itself strikes the perfect balance of modesty and complexity; an image of a ‘blue tree’ representing Double Cask 30 Years Old’s simple yet rich and complex character; and a remarkable still life, reminiscent of the great Flemish still life paintings from the 17th century which depicts the vibrant colours and varying textures of the flavours in the whisky.
Displaying a natural golden acorn hue, The Macallan Double Cask 30 Years Old imparts aromas of fresh honeycomb, sweet toffee, red apple, fig and vanilla pod. On the palate there is a smooth melody of cinnamon, ginger, Madagascan vanilla, dried fruits and oak flavours, while the finish delivers sweet oak, soft spice and toffee.
The Double Cask journey begins in the vast green forests of northern Spain and southern France, where The Macallan sources its European oak. New oak from the lush forests of Ohio, Missouri and Kentucky in America is also transported to Spain. Both types are hand crafted into casks and toasted over an open-air fire in the cooperages of Jerez before being filled with the finest sherry wine and left to season for up to 18 months.
Once seasoned, the casks travel to The Macallan Estate in Speyside where they are filled with new-make spirit. Following years of slumber, The Macallan’s Whisky Mastery Team use their skill and expertise to select the best balance of spirit from both the American and European oak casks to create Double Cask.
Kirsteen Campbell, Master Whisky Maker, The Macallan, said: “The Macallan Double Cask 30 Years Old is a modern take on our classic 30-year-old and is an exceptional aged single malt. With a rich combination and depth of flavour and a complex character, it is a whisky to be savoured, exhibiting notes of cinder toffee, fresh honeycomb, rich vanilla and red apples.
“The Macallan Double Cask brings together sherry seasoned American and European oak casks to create the perfect balance of flavours. It is the oak that gives the whisky its natural colour and is the single greatest contributor to the quality, distinctive aromas and flavours.”
Erik Madigan Heck said: “Nature lies at the heart of my work, and I was greatly inspired by the breath-taking natural landscape on The Macallan Estate. I was drawn to an oak tree and its leaves which provided the perfect subjects to evoke the seemingly simply, yet rich and complex character of Double Cask 30 Years Old and to depict the natural colour of the whisky.
“I also created a still life image featuring vibrant colours and varying textures to portray the whisky’s luscious flavours while natural light captures its depth of character. The whisky’s golden acorn natural colour provides the focal point of the shot, and its rich tone and translucent glow influenced the colour palette of the piece as a whole.”
The Macallan Double Cask 30 Years Old is encased in a luxurious solid oak presentation box and has an RRSP of US$4,000. It will be available at The Macallan Boutiques, premium bars and restaurants and premium specialist retailers globally from September 2021. For further information visit www.themacallan.com
Whisky Maker’s Notes:
Colour: Golden acorn
Aroma: Fresh honeycomb, sweet toffee, red apple, fig and vanilla pod.
Palate: A smooth melody of cinnamon, ginger, Madagascan vanilla, dried fruits and oak.
Finish: Sweet oak, soft spice and toffee.
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