Built with the hospitality community in mind, the DOJO programme will immerse bartenders in the art of Japanese bartending through culturally immersive and educational sessions
London, 5th May 2022 – The House of Suntory has announced the return of its highly successful advocacy programme for the third year running, set to educate bartenders on their premium portfolio of Japanese premium sprits: Roku gin, Haku vodka and Toki and Hibiki whiskies. Kicking off in June 2022, the DOJO programme aims to deepen bartenders’ understanding of the philosophies behind the art of Japanese bartending.
The DOJO Academy and DOJO Senpai together form the full programme for DOJO this year. The DOJO Academy will provide 50 bartenders with insights from Japanese Craft Masters which can be applied to strengthen any hospitality career. Authentic Japanese Masters of Craft will host four modules over two “Monozukuri Masterclasses” in July and September, led by James Bowker, House of Suntory’s Brand Ambassador, which will immerse bartenders the craftsmanship, techniques and culture of bartending in Japan.
James and the Masters will also offer 25 bartenders a unique opportunity to take part in the DOJO Senpai program. This separate, elevated program provides bartenders with growth and development opportunities across a six-month period. A Senpai welcome lunch will be held in May 2022 to introduce the program and the House of Suntory spirits portfolio before a series of “Monozukuri Masterclasse”s which will run from June until September.
Each masterclass will take place at Japan House in London and the bespoke Japanese inspired sessions will be centred around the three pillars of House of Suntory: WA (being in harmony with Japanese nature), Monozukuri (traditional Japanese principles of craftsmanship) and Omotenashi (authentic Japanese hospitality). The “Monozukuri Masterclasses” will focus on:
Additionally, inspired by the concept of Kaizen – “continual improvement” – participants will apply this concept via Kaizen Challenges over the duration of the summer. This will involve participants showcasing their newfound skills and applying them to a classic cocktail, selected prior to the first masterclass.
As part of this challenge, those who demonstrate the art of refinement and continuous improvement during the masterclasses will be invited to the DOJO Finale, taking place in November. The finale will bring together finalists from the DOJO Academy and DOJO Senpai programmes to take part in one last competition, hosted by James Bowker and famed Bar Master Hidetsugu Ueno of Bar High Five in Tokyo. At the end of the Masterclass, the group will present their Kaizen Classic to Hidetsugu Ueno, James Bowker and peers, with two lucky bartenders winning a once-in-a-lifetime trip to Japan.
Throughout the year there will also be several Japanese inspired DOJO mini events held in different London locations, including Japanese tea tasting and a Kanpai sake brewery tour.
Commenting on the return of DOJO for the third year running, James Bowker, Brand Ambassador for the House of Suntory, said: “We’re extremely delighted to bring back DOJO for a third year, and this time, we’re back in person after two years of virtual sessions. Japanese food and drink remain the UK’s fastest growing sector in hospitality (CGA Report 2021) and following a challenging period in our industry, the programme aims to motivate bartenders through incomparable experiences and authentic Japanese bar training.
Those taking part will develop new ways to bring creativity to the art of Japanese bartending and gain unique insights into creating better guest experiences. I am really looking forward to welcoming the future DOJO ambassadors to our close-knit, yet growing community.”
For more information on DOJO, please visit www.suntorydojo.com
TUESDAY 22nd March 2022, Glen Garioch’s famous Oldmeldrum distillery announces its re-opening to the public for the first time in two years, following a £6 million investment by owner Beam Suntory to fully renovate the distillery, returning to traditional processes and reducing its carbon footprint. The reopening will toast to reinstated malt floors and direct-fire still.
Visitors can see the behind the scenes of this renovation, immersing themselves in the sights and sounds of the distillery. Alongside this, Glen Garioch is launching a 1991 Bourbon Single Cask, from which visitors can bottle their own whisky straight from the cask in one of the distillery’s historic warehouses.
The significant investment in Glen Garioch has successfully fulfilled its ambition to restore and upgrade one of oldest operating distilleries in Scotland, returning to its roots to further enhance the quality and complexity of its legendary small batch, hand-crafted Highland single malt, honouring its 225 years of heritage.
The renovation has involved the reintroduction of floor maltings as well as the installation of direct-fired heating to the wash still – traditional methods still used by only a handful of distilleries to enhance the quality and complexity of their whiskies. To complement this return to tradition, Glen Garioch has developed a state-of-the-art, highly efficient and safe method for direct-fired distillation, which is expected to reduce the distillery’s carbon footprint by around 15%.
Kwanele Mdluli, Distillery Manager of Glen Garioch, commented: “It’s been amazing to re-open the distillery up to the public after all this time, and especially to show them all the work that has been done so far to reinstate our traditional processes and drive towards our vision of a more sustainable future. It’s truly an exciting and milestone moment for Glen Garioch as we open this new chapter in our history and invite others to share a dram of our iconic whisky.”
Glen Garioch 1991 Bourbon Single Cask | 46.4% ABV
NOSE – Sweet nutty with notes of dried fruits, white peach and oak spices, gorse flowers and subtle smoke.
PALATE – Heather honey with vanilla cream, salted toffee and a hint of roasted walnuts, malty notes of shortbread and oak spice.
FINISH – Sweet finish with oak spices with a drying mouthfeel.
Tuesday 8th March 2022, London: Edrington UK today announces that Andrea Montague has been appointed Head of Advocacy in a newly created role for the business.
As Edrington UK’s new Head of Advocacy, Andrea will lead and champion brand advocacy, education and training – from bartender engagement activities to customer activations to industry events – across the company’s wide portfolio of premium spirit brands, including The Macallan, Highland Park, The Glenrothes, Brugal 1888, House of Suntory, Courvoisier, Laphroaig and Maker’s Mark amongst others.
With over 15 years’ experience in the drinks industry, Andrea is a respected figure in the spirits category having worked both at some of the most prestigious and highly respected establishments across London, as well as for leading brands, creating global advocacy programmes and education platforms for ambassador teams.
With this she brings extensive experience in mentorship and project leadership as she heads up the company’s extensive advocacy team, including Edrington UK’s core Brand Ambassadors, Whisky Specialists and Serve Specialists, uniting them to create one centre of advocacy excellence, driving them to achieve the business’s brand ambitions through best-in-class advocacy and brand building.
Following another challenging start to the year for the hospitality industry, Andrea’s appointment comes during a crucial time as the on-trade looks towards recovery.
Zak Laurence-Whalley, General Manager at Edrington UK, said: “Advocacy has always been at the heart of Edrington UK’s brand-building strategies. We have delivered a wide range of globally recognised advocacy projects across our brands such as the House of Suntory Dojo programme, The Macallan and Rosewood London Partnership, and our bartender community space ‘Tending to the Tenders’ at London Cocktail Week. Andrea’s appointment is a vital step in recognising our advocacy successes to date and demonstrates our commitment to advocacy as a business.
Consumers are discovering new and vibrant ways to enjoy dark spirits and the opportunity for the category is vast. Edrington UK has an enviable premium dark spirits portfolio, and we are perfectly placed to lead the charge. By investing in high-calibre talent to create and execute our advocacy strategies, we are able to transform the premium spirits category hand-in-hand with our customers. We are excited to see Andrea drive our brand building vision forward.”
Commenting on her new role, Andrea stated: “I am honoured to be appointed as Edrington’s UK’ new Head of Advocacy for the UK. Having spent the last four years dedicating myself to single malts, I am delighted to be working with such a rich, premium dark spirits portfolio. As we continue to accelerate our brands in the premium space, I’m looking forward to bringing my experience to support and unite our advocacy team to drive our business vision forward.”
8 November 2021, Islay, UK: A shared commitment to heritage, craftsmanship and innovation unites the worlds of whisky making and automotive design with the creation of Bowmore® Masters’ Selection; the first single malt whisky to be made by Bowmore® Islay Single Malt Scotch Whisky in collaboration with Aston Martin.
Imagined and defined by two Masters; Bowmore Master Whisky Blender Ron Welsh and Aston Martin Executive Vice President and Chief Creative Officer Marek Reichman, Bowmore Masters’ Selection bridges two distinct worlds in a powerful, yet inspiring way. At its heart is a mutual trust and respect for one other’s worlds and a passion to discover and learn from each other. Each Master imparts their own creativity and character, but also makes an indelible mark, like leaving their own unique fingerprint, on every single creation.
Marek Reichman, has often spoken about the concept of the ‘Golden Ratio’ – the mathematical ratio found in nature that creates aesthetically pleasing compositions -, which sits at the heart of the design of every Aston Martin. Absolute beauty can be created when you achieve a perfect relationship between each proportion of the car.
Reichman explains: “Proportionality defines every precise detail of designing an Aston Martin. We are constantly striving to achieve the Golden Ratio; the optimal of proportions. And it is this force which guides the creation of absolute beauty. To achieve this, we must combine our skill, passion and experience. Coming together with Ron just brings a whole new perspective on this and is hugely inspiring and enlightening. This whisky perfectly and harmoniously brings us together to create a beautiful, yet powerful equilibrium.”
For Bowmore, proportions define character and shape flavour combinations; from cask selection and age to blending. Ron Welsh, Master Blender, Bowmore, explains, “For the first time with this whisky, we have adopted the Golden Ratio to inspire each of the elements bringing their own unique flavours and selecting the optimal casks to forge the desired character, taking inspiration from Marek and his team. What seems totally contrasting is, in fact, perfectly balanced and proportionate. Working with Marek has given me a new lens from which to explore whisky making. This whisky serves as a celebration of our unified knowledge and experience; our shared passions, values and ideas.”
Taking inspiration from an engineered approach, this whisky incorporates the divine proportion of 61.8% formed from a base of 21 year old Bowmore matured in first fill Pedro Ximenez and Oloroso sherry casks. The remaining parts are made up of exact ratios of each other, in line with the Golden Ratio theory, and include exceptionally aged Bowmore matured for over 35 years.
For this single malt, a powerful and complex yet sweet warming, the creators seems, on the face, to have created absolute contrast but in reality, they have captured perfect balance and proportion. With a clear nod to Aston Martin in the very creation of this Bowmore whisky, it exudes a sophistication and complexity which is truly considered yet promises a thrilling taste experience.
Powerful yet elegant; from sweet to spice; sherry to coffee; honey to pepper – the perfect proportions to achieve absolute depth and balance.
Bowmore Masters’ Selection is available in the UK from late November in Harrods, The Whisky Exchange, Master of Malt and The Whisky Shop with an RSP of £300.
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)
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