The pioneering house of Japanese whisky reveals two new limited-edition products as part of its celebratory centennial range.
LONDON, September 2023 – As 2023 marks a momentous year for the House of Suntory, the founding House of Japanese whisky reveals the long-awaited centennial release of Hibiki 21-Year-Old and a limited-edition bottle design of Hibiki Japanese Harmony. The two limited releases mark the latest centennial whisky offerings from the House of Suntory’s anniversary celebration, honouring a century since founder Shinjiro Torii established Japan’s very first malt whisky distillery in 1923.
Originally making its debut in 1989, Hibiki is considered among the most prestigious whiskies in the world and has become one of the most sought-after Japanese blended whiskies. Hibiki is a harmonious blend of various malt and grain whiskies from Suntory’s Yamazaki, Hakushu and Chita distilleries. The limited-edition Hibiki 21-Year-Old is a delicate marriage of malt and grain whiskies that are meticulously blended to create an orchestra of flavours and aromas. For this special centennial edition, rare Mizunara oak is placed at the forefront, profoundly influencing the blend whilst still maintaining Hibiki’s character and essence.
“For the limited-edition Hibiki 21-Year–Old, our team took on the challenge of crafting a new blend to celebrate our centennial,” says Chief Blender of Suntory Shinji Fukuyo. “With meticulous precision, we managed to harness the challenging-yet-rewarding characteristics of Japanese Mizunara oak to accentuate the unique flavour profile for which our Hibiki whiskies are known. This special whisky showcases our continued dedication to craftsmanship at the House of Suntory.”
The design of the birthday label for the Hibiki 21-Year-Old bottle features a gradual transition of colours that evoke the sunrise in Japan. In Japanese culture, the sun holds deep meaning, as it nurtures the surrounding nature and provides essential energy. It stands as a reminder to appreciate life and embrace the changes that come with each passing moment. Tender gold in colour, this extraordinary whisky embodies the spirit of “Wa,” or oneness, with enticing aromas. It offers refined and elegant notes of kumquat and jasmine with Japanese incense. The palate is subtly sweet and floral combined with spiced sandalwood and agarwood. The result is a long and deep finish with undertones of spiced Mizunara wood. Hibiki 21-Year-Old is bottled at 43 percent ABV. Available from select retailers from October including Harrods, Harvey Nichols, and The Whisky Shop at a suggested retail price of £5,200 and 700ml.
The House of Suntory’s centennial Hibiki Japanese Harmony bottle design brings the art of “Monozukuri” craftsmanship to life—it’s this same relentless pursuit for quality, ingenuity, and expressiveness that has inspired the design of each of the house’s centennial limited editions. The Hibiki Japanese Harmony centennial edition packaging features motifs of snow, moon and flowers representing Japan’s changing seasons. The ‘Kakehashi’ symbolizes the emotional connection of the Japanese people to their country’s unique seasonality and its significance in everyday life, fostering an appreciation for time that deeply resonates and inspires Hibiki. Amber in colour, this luminous and delicate whisky presents notes of rose, lychee, a hint of rosemary, mature woodiness and sandalwood on the nose. On the palate, it offers aromas of honey-like sweetness, candied orange peel and white chocolate. The finish is both subtle and tender with a hint of Mizunara. Hibiki Japanese Harmony is bottled at 43 percent ABV. Available from select retailers from October including Harrods, Harvey Nichols, The Whisky Exchange, and The Whisky Shop at a suggested retail price of £210 and 700ml.
Earlier this year, the House of Suntory unveiled its centennial edition Yamazaki 18-Year-Old Mizunara and Hakushu 18-Year-Old Peated Malt whiskies. Limited 100th anniversary labels of the flagship Yamazaki 12-Year-Old and Hakushu 12-Year-Old were also released for the centennial.
London, 10th July 2023 – Following three successful years, The House of Suntory has announced its prestigious DOJO advocacy programme will this year expand to engage 100 bartenders in three leading hospitality hubs in the UK. In the brand’s centenary year, the programme will host masterclasses in Manchester and Edinburgh, in addition to London, as part of its mission to deepen bartenders’ understanding of the philosophies behind the art of Japanese bartending.
The expansion of the programme this year will, for the first time, enable bartenders in three of the UK’s leading hospitality hubs to learn about Japanese bartending and gain insights directly from Japanese Craft Masters and hospitality industry leaders, which can be applied to strengthen any hospitality career.
Devised as an immersive experience for bartenders, this year’s programme will be led by The House of Suntory UK Brand Ambassador Raffaele Di Monaco alongside authentic Japanese Masters of Craft and will consist of two ‘tours’ in July and September. Each tour will feature two “Monozukuri Masterclasses”, with 25 bartenders in each city – Monozukuri being one of the three pillars of The House of Suntory, referring to the traditional Japanese principles of craftsmanship. To help deepen understanding of the brand’s portfolio, each masterclass tour will focus on two of its four core brands; the first tour on Roku gin and Haku vodka, followed by Toki and Hibiki whiskies in the second.
Inspired by the concept of Kaizen – “continual improvement” – the programme includes a ‘Kaizen Challenge’ to encourage participants to hone their newfound skills by applying them to a classic cocktail and rewards best practice with the chance to win a place at the DOJO Finale in November. This final stage will see the four bartenders from each city present their Kaizen Classic to judges James Bowker, The House of Suntory’s Global Advocacy Manager, and famed Bar Master Hidetsugu Ueno of Bar High Five in Tokyo, for the chance to win a once-in-a-lifetime trip to Japan in Spring 2024.
With community a key part of the DOJO programme, in October, 12 DOJO Finalists will also be invited to two community events to immerse them in Japanese culture with sessions on Japanese knife sharpening and a Kanpai Sake Brewery tour. As part of the brand’s ongoing commitment to fostering the bartending community, there will also be several Japanese inspired DOJO mini events in London locations throughout the year.
Raffaele di Monaco, UK Brand Ambassador for the House of Suntory, said: “The Japanese approach to bartending is unlike anything else. From the laser focus on detail, to embracing omotenashi (to wholeheartedly look after guests) and monozukuri (craftsmanship and striving towards perfection), the collective approach elevates bartending to an artform. Through the DOJO programme, we hope to bring these principles to the fore, and help bartenders enhance their repertoires as well as being able to offer unparalleled drink and hospitality experiences for their customers.”
THE DOJO PROGRAMME – MONOZUKURI MASTERCLASS TOURS
Each DOJO Masterclass is carefully curated around four Japanese crafts. From sushi making and Ikebana, to Dashi blending and Chadō – also known as Japanese Tea Ceremony – the sessions will be hosted by a specialist Japanese Master, providing bartenders with a rich understanding of Japanese artistry first hand.
Tour 1 – July 2023
Tour 2 – September 2023
For more information on DOJO, please visit www.suntorydojo.com
Celebrating the ultimate expression of Scotland’s whisky heritage captured through a Japanese lens
· ARDRAY joins Edrington UK’s portfolio of Scotch Whiskies
5th June, London: Beam Suntory, world leader in premium spirits and producer of some of the foremost whiskies, has unveiled its latest creation ARDRAY® – an exquisite new interpretation of blended Scotch whisky. Balancing Scotland’s unique terroir and long-standing craft tradition with the precision and artistry of Suntory’s award-winning Japanese blenders, ARDRAY promises a fresh perspective on the excellence of blended Scotch and is set to boost the category. The new product joins Edrington UK’s portfolio of Scotch whiskies.
Beam Suntory’s Chief Blender for Scotch, Calum Fraser in partnership with Suntory’s blending team, tested nearly 200 different whisky combinations before arriving at the final harmony of flavours that make up ARDRAY. The wonderfully balanced blended recipe interweaves some of Scotland’s finest, most complex signature malts and grain whiskies together to an optimal precise ratio. The result is a whisky designed to challenge preconceptions, treating both malt and grain whiskies as equals to create a whisky that is truly greater than the sum of its parts.
With inspiration from historic blend styles and the vision of Suntory’s founder Shinjiro Torii, ARDRAY celebrates the quest to reimagine the historic excellence of blended scotch and encourage a greater appreciation for the art of blending. A hundred years ago, inspired by traditional Scottish whisky, Torii-San envisioned a Japanese approach to create a subtle, refined, yet complex whisky that would suit the delicate palate of the Japanese. With this remarkable blend we honour Torii’s quest, from a reinterpretation of Scotch for the Japanese palate to ARDRAY: a new, elegant interpretation, designed to celebrate the excellence of blended Scotch Whisky,
Built on the premise that blended whisky is an art form that deserves both respect and reappraisal, each batch is precisely engineered to achieve the same harmony between malt and grain whiskies each time. By retaining a proportion of each batch, the team blend this with the next batch and harmonise the flavour of the whisky across the batches.
Calum Fraser, Chief Blender for Scotch, comments: “In creating ARDRAY we have combined an exceptional selection of the very best Scotch whisky has to offer with the inspiring talent of Suntory’s blending team to create something new, refreshing and exciting. The time, care and attention to detail taken to source both malt and grain whiskies from some of Scotland’s most noted distilleries has allowed us to explore hundreds of blends of Scotch malt and grain whiskies to achieve ARDRAY’s optimum balance of multi-layered flavours. Driven by the desire to ensure the true beauty of this blend is greater than the sum of its parts. ARDRAY promises a rich and complex taste, with a distinctive harmony of flavours: a mild, gently floral, and citrusy fruitiness, with a vanilla custard creaminess and a rich, silky mouthfeel and lengthy aftertaste that is unmatched.“
Drawing from just a handful of the finest Scotch distilleries from Beam Suntory, world leader in premium spirits and producer of renowned whiskies including Bowmore, Laphroaig, Yamazaki, and Hibiki and our partners at Edrington, (owners of The Macallan, The Glenrothes and Highland Park), this blended Scotch whisky that celebrates the role of terroir and the production traditions of Scotland’s distilleries which define each of their unique spirit character.
Presented in a bespoke bottle each marked with the year of release, the striking artwork of artist Lia Melia adorns each one, capturing Scotland’s raw beauty and terroir. Its richly textured rippling pattern representing malt and grain highlighting two fundamental ingredients in Scotch whisky. The unique feel of the glass bottle takes after the free-flowing water of Scotland’s streams and rivers and the patterns made by the wind blowing across barley fields.
ARDRAY is now available at The Whisky Shop, The Whisky Exchange and Master of Malt with an RRP of £60.
For more information, visit the Ardray website at: Ardray.com
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
Among Best in Category Trophy, Hibiki® 21 Wins Double Gold, Yamazaki® and Hakushu® Score Several Gold Awards in Prestigious Global Tasting Event
London, 14 July 2021: – The House of Suntory, the founding house and pioneer of Japanese Whisky, received its latest wave of industry accolades from this year’s 2021 International Spirits Challenge across its core portfolio of premium whiskies, including a category win for Japanese Whisky Distiller of the Year, and a Double Gold win for Hibiki® 21 – one of only 11 Double Golds awarded in the entire competition.
Other Gold wins for the House of Suntory went to Hibiki, Yamazaki® and Hakushu® expressions. The House of Suntory received 21 medals in total across the brands, including 13 Gold medals. Held in London in June, the International Spirits Challenge recognises outstanding quality, excellence and achievement in spirits around the world.
“We are honored to continue receiving this level of outstanding recognition year over year by one of the most prestigious industry competitions in the world,” says Jon Potter, Managing Director for the House of Suntory at Beam Suntory. “These awards are a testament to our company’s commitment to quality, precision and excellence. We congratulate our Chief Blender, Shinji Fukuyo, and his diligent team across our distilleries who exhibit the highest level of skill and passion for their craft. This hard-working group commit themselves daily to producing nothing but the best spirits.”
The full list of House of Suntory competition results:
Hibiki 21 Year Old
Hibiki Blender’s Choice
Hibiki Japanese Harmony
Hibiki Japanese Harmony Master’s Select
Hibiki 30 Year Old
Yamazaki Single Malt 12 Year Old
Yamazaki Single Malt 18 Year Old
Yamazaki Single Malt 25 Year Old
Yamazaki Single Malt Mizunara 2020 Edition
Yamazaki Single Malt Spanish Oak 2020 Edition
Yamazaki Single Malt Bordeaux Wine Cask 2020 Edition
Hakushu Single Malt 12 Year Old
Hakushu Single Malt 18 Year Old
Hakushu Single Malt 25 Year Old
Suntory Whisky Chita
Suntory World Whisky AO
The Hakushu Single Malt Whisky
The Hakushu Single Malt Whisky Peated Malt 2021 Edition
The Yamazaki Single Malt Whisky
The Yamazaki Single Malt Whisky Puncheon 2020 Edition
The Yamazaki Single Malt Whisky Peated Malt 2020 Edition
ABOUT THE HOUSE OF SUNTORY
Since 1923, Suntory has been renowned as the pioneer of Japanese whisky 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, and the Suntory legacy continued with Torii’s son, Keizo Saji, Suntory’s second master blender who continued to establish distilleries including the Hakushu distillery. As the generations of Suntory’s master blenders carry on, Suntory Whisky remains committed to heritage and innovation. 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).
whisky.suntory.com @suntorywhisky #suntorywhisky
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