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 – 22 May 2022, Edrington UK, the UK’s number one whisky and cognac supplier, will launch a podcast series – The Stillhouse Podcast – hosted by UK spirits expert, Becky Paskin. Featuring guest appearances from key figures at the heart of the drinks and hospitality industry, listeners can expect engaging conversations centred around the value and opportunities of the dark spirits category.
Grounded in insight from Edrington UK’s 2025 Category Vision, the podcast will not only shine a light on the category but also aim to inspire growth through conversations around consumers, serves and occasions.
The Stillhouse Podcast will initially feature nine episodes based on the nine growth drivers identified in Edrington UK’s Category Vision. Each episode provides a forum for education and conversation around growing this category through more people, more often and for more. Whether this is through attracting new consumers, inspiring discovery and experimentation, or extending repertoires, each episode will unearth how and why key occasions and moments act as a driver of opportunity for dark spirits. The podcast will also provide digestible advice and tips from those at the coalface, to inspire businesses across the on- and off-trade.
The first two episodes in the series will be available from 22nd May and will welcome Jamie Campbell (Brugal UK Brand Ambassador) and Lauren Anderson – Smedley (Drinks Experience Trainer and Host from Waitrose & Partners), as well as Anna Sebastian (Hospitality Consultant) and David Miles (Senior Whisky Ambassador, Edrington UK). Becky will bring the experts together to discuss ‘On My Terms’, how to empower consumers to drink dark spirits however they like it, encouraging exploration and experimentation. Whereas ‘Me Moment’ is an episode all about how dark spirits can tap into consumer desires for smaller, more regular moments of indulgence.
Fiona Alder, Head of Portfolio and Planning at Edrington UK, says:
“We’re excited to be launching The Stillhouse Podcast in partnership with Becky Paskin, who has a wealth of category knowledge and is passionate about making dark spirits accessible to all. At Edrington UK, we continue to invest heavily in understanding consumers, shoppers, and customers. Our aim is to support businesses across the on and off-trade to unlock the dark spirits category by showcasing the opportunities for incremental category value. As leaders in the dark spirit category, we wanted to be the ones to ignite and be at the centre of the dark spirit conversation; launching our Category Vision as a podcast series is the perfect format for this.”
Dark spirit expert and host of The Stillhouse Podcast, Becky Paskin says:
“Over recent years, we have seen consumers rapidly adapt to discover varied and new ways to enjoy dark spirits in and out-of-home and it’s time to take a deep dive into what’s driving this and how we can drive this further value.
“I’m delighted that Edrington UK asked me to host The Stillhouse Podcast – a platform, or home as you will, to shine a light on the category and create a welcoming space for real conversations with industry leaders.”
Insights shared in the podcast will be led by Edrington UK’s newly developed Category Vision – a framework grounded in insight from each consumption moment. It brings together the results from a bespoke ‘usage and attitudes’ consumer survey, combined with extensive research and insights from the UK’s leading dark spirits experts.
The first episode of The Stillhouse Podcast will be available to download from Spotify and Itunes and will go live on 22nd May. Follow @thestillhousepodcast to keep up to date with The Stillhouse Podcast and its upcoming episodes.
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.