From the birthplace of Japanese Whisky, Yamazaki® 55 – now available in select global markets – honours the legacy of three generations of Master Blenders and celebrates its harmony with nature with a donation for every newly released bottle to The White Oak Initiative.
LONDON, UK (9th September 2021) – In the much anticipated first-ever global release of the Yamazaki® 55, the House of Suntory pays tribute to the passage of time and the legacy of the founding family of Japanese whisky. Bottled in 2020, Yamazaki 55 – the House of Suntory’s oldest release in its history – celebrates the Japanese “Showa” era of the 1960s that represented a major period of change for the House of Suntory.
Extremely limited quantities of Yamazaki 55, of which 100 bottles were initially released in Japan in 2020, will reach select global markets including the United Kingdom, United States, Mainland China, and Taiwan later this month. Yamazaki 55 will be available to purchase in Harrods, Claridge’s and The Arts Club.
To honour its ongoing commitment to give back to society, Beam Suntory, will donate $5,000 USD for every bottle released in this year’s 100-bottle collection, totalling $500,000 USD, to The White Oak Initiative, a group committed to the long-term sustainability of America’s white oak forests.
Yamazaki 55 is a blend of precious single malts featuring components distilled in 1960 under the supervision of Suntory’s founder Shinjiro Torii and then aged in Mizunara casks; and in 1964 under Suntory’s Second Master Blender Keizo Saji and then aged in White Oak casks. Suntory’s Fifth-Generation Chief Blender Shinji Fukuyo worked closely with Third-Generation Master Blender Shingo Torii in deploying their signature art of blending to properly reveal the exceptional depth, complexity and wisdom that is Yamazaki 55. The resulting expression features a deep amber colour; robust aroma redolent of sandal wood and well-ripened fruit; sweet, slightly bitter and woody palate; and slightly bitter yet sweet and rich finish.
“Throughout the process of blending Yamazaki 55, I used as inspiration the passage of time and ‘Wabi-sabi’ – the Japanese belief that imperfections can help to ultimately contribute to perfection,” said Fukuyo. “While I often view other extra aged whiskies as art, I consider Yamazaki 55 to be more like a Buddhist statue: calm and mysterious, requiring time to truly enjoy the inner beauty.”
Yamazaki 55 is presented in a crystal bottle with the word “Yamazaki” carefully engraved in calligraphy using the technique of sandblasting and featuring real gold dust and lacquer on the age marking. The bottle’s opening is wrapped in handmade Echizen washi paper and bound with a Kyo-kumihimo plaited cord, a traditional craft from Kyoto. Each bottle is delivered in a bespoke box made from native Japanese Mizunara wood and coated with Suruga lacquer.
Tasting Notes – Yamazaki 55, 46% ABV
Color: Deep amber distinctive of Mizunara casks.
Nose: A robust aroma redolent of sandal wood. A sweet, mature bouquet like well-ripened fruit.
Palate: A soft, smooth first sip that blossoms in the mouth with flavor. A mixture of sweet and slightly bitter, followed by a woody note from the Mizunara cask.
Finish: Slightly bitter, a fragrance like scented wood and a hint of smokiness. A sweet, rich, lingering finish.
Yamazaki 55 will be available in extremely limited quantities starting this month at a suggested retail price of $60,000 USD excluding VAT and duties. Yamazaki 55 will be available to purchase in Harrods, Harvey Nichols, The Whisky Exchange, The Whisky Shop, Master of Malt.
Yamazaki 55 will also be available in The Arts Club, Annabel’s and Claridge’s. This limited-edition expression joins Yamazaki’s portfolio of award-winning whiskies including Yamazaki® 12, Yamazaki 18® and Yamazaki 25®.
From Yamazaki. Birthplace of Japanese whisky.
The Yamazaki Distillery is Japan’s first and oldest malt whisky distillery, built starting in 1923 by Suntory’s founder Shinjiro Torii. Yamazaki is not only the soul place of Suntory Whisky. It is the birthplace of Japanese Whisky.
Inspired by traditional Scottish whisky, it is said that Torii selected the land of Yamazaki at the foot of Mt. Tennozan, for its high-quality water source and natural environment, both of which are ideal for whisky making. Nestled proudly on the periphery of Kyoto, the area around Yamazaki Distillery has been long referred to as “Minaseno” famous for its exquisite natural water, even mentioned in the Man’yoshu, the ancient anthology of Japanese poetry. Home to Sen no Rikyu, Master of “The Way of Tea” and his renowned “Rikyu no Mizu” (water of the imperial villa), the waters of Yamazaki are selected by the Ministry of Environment as one of Japan’s one hundred best natural mineral waters.
Yamazaki lies in a misty valley between Mt.Tennozan and Mt. Otokoyama, where the Katsura, Uji and Kizu rivers converge. Blessed with Japan’s rich four seasons, the diversity of this region’s temperature and humidity align to create the perfect conditions for the making of whisky.
ABOUT SUNTORY WHISKY
Since 1923, Suntory has been renowned as the pioneer of Japanese whisky for its House of Master Blenders and for their Art of Blending. 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).
Suntory Whiskies are subtle, refined and complex. The portfolio includes two single malt whiskies: Yamazaki—Japan’s N°1 Single Malt, multi-layered and profound, Hakushu—verdant, fresh, and delicately smoky; and two blends: the noble blend, Hibiki—Japan’s most highly awarded blended whisky and Suntory Whisky Toki.
whisky.suntory.com #SuntoryWhisky @SuntoryWhisky
Online whisky auction site, Whisky Hammer, and its sister retail business Still Spirit, is poised for global expansion after selling a 49% stake of the Scottish family business to Rare Whisky Holdings, a whisky investment group managed out of Hong Kong.
The multi-million-pound deal will deliver a 2.6X return to retail investors on their original investment, who participated in its crowdfunding campaign just two years ago.
Whisky Hammer started in 2016 by brothers Daniel and Craig Milne who are originally from Macduff, near Speyside, an area renowned for the production of Scotch whisky.
The success of Whisky Hammer, and its vast potential, has been recognised by Rare Whisky Holdings, which is the same management team behind the Platinum Whisky Investment Fund, the first private equity fund in the world to focus on rare single-malt whiskies.
Platinum Whisky Investment Fund launched in 2014, raised USD 12 million and is in the final stage of its wind down, exiting at over USD 24 million in 7 years.
Rare Whisky Holdings also owns the Glenor Cask Company, which holds 1,000 casks of maturing single malt, blended, and grain whiskies. The new investment and partnership ensures registered members of Whisky Hammer and Still Spirit will receive exclusive access to a range of cask opportunities for the long-term.
Whisky Hammer hosts monthly auctions, dedicated to whisky and other fine spirits, allowing buyers and sellers from every corner of the globe to participate. It has auctioned a wide range of whiskies, both bottles and casks, with auctions selling in excess of £1 million under the hammer each month.
A recent feature included the 31-Year-Old Black Bowmore ‘DB5’ collaboration with Aston Martin, distilled in 1964 and sold for a hammer price of £81,000 in March 2021. The customer base of Whisky Hammer features an extensive global network of whisky enthusiasts who buy and sell on the platform, resulting in a 70% growth in revenue in 2020.
Whisky Hammer re-located in 2019 to a new, purpose-built facility in Aberdeenshire, which is also home to Still Spirit – a whisky shop, e-commerce site and dram bar offering over 100 rare whiskies to taste while overlooking the beautiful Scottish countryside.
Daniel Milne, Managing Director of Whisky Hammer and Still Spirit said: “This is a very exciting time for our business. The transaction signifies an important bond with our new Asian partner that will rapidly bring the group to the next phase of growth, and we are incredibly excited about what lies ahead. In addition, we are delighted to have generated a substantial return for our crowdfunding investors that helped us build the business to where it is today.”
Rickesh Kishnani, Co-Founder of Rare Whisky Holdings commented “Our investment group is proud to join the Milne family business and help with their expansion to Asia, where the demand for whisky continues to grow at a rapid pace. We are also excited to use this new partnership to provide Whisky Hammer and Still Spirit members with exclusive access to our collection of aged casks.”
Legal support was provided for the transaction by Goodwin Proctor LLP (acting on behalf of the buyer) and Brodies LLP (acting on behalf of the sellers).
Bowmore® Islay Single Malt Scotch Whisky is pleased to unveil Bowmore 27-year-old. The new addition joins its older age range of whiskies as part of the Bowmore® Timeless Series; a masterpiece beautifully crafted and shaped by time.
For over 240 years, Bowmore has captured the essence of Islay from the shores of its remote island home – harnessing the power of centuries of skill and tradition in every single drop. Combining patience and dedication with an unwavering attention to detail, the Bowmore Timeless series is a celebration of this legacy – embodying the sophisticated balance of smoke, exotic fruit and sea salt for which Bowmore Islay single malt scotch whisky is celebrated.
With 3,000 bottles available, Bowmore 27-year-old has been matured in Sherry and ex-Bourbon casks for 15 years before being carefully moved into first-fill Oloroso butts for a further 12 and is bottled at cask strength. With the distinctive Bowmore character, this single malt offers up fruity flavour, combined with rich Sherry and a nod to fresh leather, tobacco and beeswax.
The exquisite expression is housed in a distinctive black box alongside an hourglass which when turned provides drinkers with three precious minutes to enjoy the nose of the beautifully balanced single malt that has taken years to perfect. Only after this time has passed can drinkers enjoy their first sip.
Ron Welsh, Master Blender at Bowmore, said: “With Bowmore Timeless Series, the key is the careful selection of the right casks, at the right time. This enables us to determine when the spirit has reached its peak, or if it should be left longer to develop its character further. This careful balance is vital to ensuring we allow the character of our whiskies to be optimised and can therefore, promise exceptional flavour delivery.”
Exclusive to Global Travel Retail Bowmore 31-year-old will also be introduced to the Bowmore Timeless Series. Nurtured in ex-Bourbon casks, selected at their peak, for 29 years before two years in Spanish Oak Matusalem Sherry seasoned butts to ‘finish’ and enhance the flavours; defined by floral notes, with honey and vanilla sweetness and a touch of peppermint.
To celebrate the launch of the Timeless Series, Bowmore has collaborated with independent French film director and artist, Thomas Vanz, to pay homage to the artistic craft of creating its iconic whiskies. Through the medium of film and artwork, Vanz has illustrated the power of time as expressed in the evolution of whisky. Conveying the unfolding moments of cosmic beauty in the creation of Bowmore®’s Timeless single malt whisky; an abstract yet captivating interpretation.
Commenting on the collaboration, Thomas Vanz said: “The artistry involved in the whisky making process is fascinating and provided me with rich and vivid inspiration to create my own unique interpretation. Through my work, I focused on capturing a galaxy of beautiful chemical reactions to represent the whisky-making process, which is made up of complex movement and colours. This is my interpretation of the Bowmore® universe, from where it begins to the final character. To collaborate with a single malt with such a remarkable legacy and from an awe-inspiring place is a first for me and I relished the opportunity to explore Bowmore® in my own way.”
Explore the world of Bowmore®; become immersed in the Timeless Series and truly connect with artist Thomas Vanz by visiting http://bowmore.com/Timeless
The Macallan has unveiled the Anecdotes of Ages Collection, an extraordinary art and whisky collaboration with globally renowned British pop artist, Sir Peter Blake.
The collaboration, which is The Macallan’s third with the iconic artist and is part of a relationship which has spanned more than three decades, celebrates The Macallan’s rich legacy and Sir Peter Blake’s remarkable contribution to the art world.
At the heart of the esteemed collection are 13 one-of-a-kind bottles of exceptional 1967 whisky. Classic but with a distinctly colourful character, this peerless single malt Scotch has been matured for more than 50 years and was carefully selected to represent the year that Sir Peter Blake’s signature collages transcended from art into popular culture.
Each individual bottle features its own original Sir Peter Blake collage art on the label, detailing unique stories relating to The Macallan’s history, community, and the beautiful natural landscape of The Macallan Estate.
Pioneering pop artist Sir Peter Blake is renowned for his highly distinctive collages featuring images from popular culture. His diverse style ranges from colourful lettering to likeness drawing, but he remains best known for his signature crowd work. Over many decades, his unique and timeless style has transcended fashion, music, and even art movements.
The long-held relationship between The Macallan and Sir Peter Blake is based on a mutual respect for craftsmanship as well as a strong desire to deliver truly creative and visionary work. In 1986 he collaborated with The Macallan to create a bespoke label for The Macallan 1926 taking inspiration from the events of the era. In 2012 The Macallan and Sir Peter Blake collaborated again to create a unique, limited edition art piece in celebration of his 80th birthday and decades of collaborating with The Macallan.
As part of The Macallan’s strong support for the arts, one of the extremely scarce 13 Anecdotes of Ages bottles is being auctioned to raise funds to benefit the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum. Support from The Macallan will advance efforts underway at the Guggenheim to increase free access and develop engagement with a variety of audiences, in alignment with the museum’s diversity, equity, access, and inclusion initiatives. The sale is being conducted by Sotheby’s in March 2021
Sir Peter Blake said: “I am deeply inspired by the incredible legacy of The Macallan, and its emphasis on family, tradition, and the natural world.
“Each collage in the Anecdotes of Ages Collection is inspired by The Macallan’s history and heritage, one that respects time and craft, two essential components of my own creative process. I meticulously worked on each collage, pulling from The Macallan Estate’s rich history to complete a collection that is a celebration of art and whisky.”
Sarah Burgess, Lead Whisky Maker at The Macallan, said: “This exceptional 1967 whisky was chosen for its classic yet distinctively colourful character, which is reminiscent of Sir Peter Blake’s work of the same year. With notes of oak and fig leading to a burst of hazelnut and strawberry, this is a truly special single malt that finishes with complex flavours of chocolate and lightly spiced peach. It is in many ways, its own work of art.”
The exquisite and incredibly rare Anecdotes of Ages Collection will be sought after worldwide by whisky and art lovers alike.
Each of the 13 original bottles are hand-blown with an oak stopper, and feature a label signed by Sir Peter Blake. Presented in a handcrafted European oak case incorporating thumbnail photography revealing Sir Peter Blake’s inspirational journey with The Macallan, the expressions are also accompanied by a leather-bound book showcasing all 13 label artworks and corresponding stories, as well as a certificate of authenticity.
While the 13th original bottle will be retained in The Macallan archive, a highly limited-edition whisky featuring a duplicate label and the same rare 1967 whisky, will be released as The Anecdotes of Ages Collection: Down to Work Limited Edition. Only 322 bottles will be available worldwide.
An innovative 360-degree virtual art exhibit enabling visitors to explore the Anecdotes of Ages Collection will be available on The Macallan website. Whisky and art enthusiasts will be taken on a journey through Sir Peter Blake’s studio and the Anecdotes of Ages gallery, which showcases the inspiration behind each of the individual artworks, before attending a world reveal of the 13 bottles with Sir Peter Blake’s handcrafted and original label artwork.
Whisky lovers will also welcome the release of a further special single malt Scotch created to commemorate Sir Peter Blake’s visit to The Macallan Estate on the legendary River Spey. An Estate, A Community, And A Distillery is displayed in a custom box inspired by Sir Peter Blake’s art, alongside a certificate outlining the history and heritage on which the art was based, and Sir Peter Blake’s artwork printed on a scroll.
To view The Macallan Anecdotes of Ages Virtual Art Exhibit, visit https://www.themacallan.com/virtual-art-exhibit. The Anecdotes of Ages Collection: Down To Work Limited Edition and the An Estate, A Community, And A Distillery will both be available from February 2021.
The RRSP of The Anecdotes of Ages Collection: Down to Work is £50,000
The RRSP of An Estate, A Community, And A Distillery is £750
For further information visit www.themacallan.com
6 August 2020, Islay, UK – Bowmore® Islay Single Malt Scotch Whisky and Aston Martin have unveiled their first collaborative creation; Black Bowmore DB5 1964. A striking concept which brings together an iconic whisky and a legendary car in a bottle of equal parts, featuring exceptional single malt and a genuine Aston Martin DB5 piston.
With only 25 bottles for sale, this exceptionally rare Black Bowmore DB5 1964 is a celebration of time; a definitive moment in history for both Bowmore and Aston Martin. It is also a celebration of shared values and passions; showcasing great innovation and invention.
A beautifully inspiring masterpiece; this unique, handcrafted vessel houses an equally exceptional single malt, Black Bowmore. Inspired by the past, but truly breath-taking in today’s world. The significance of 1964 is paramount. This represents a truly defining era of evolution for both Bowmore and Aston Martin.
For Bowmore, 1964 is arguably one of the most significant points in the distillery’s 240-year history. The arrival of a new boiler saw the distillery enter the modern age of distilling as coal fires made way for steam in heating the stills. It was the first distillation from this new boiler that produced the spirit which was to become the iconic Black Bowmore; a sublimely rich and decadent single malt, reflected in awe-inspiring deep darkness.
First distilled on 5 November 1964, over the years Black Bowmore has become one of the rarest and most sought-after single malt whiskies ever created. This latest release represents only the sixth bottling of this exquisite single malt. Since 1993, only around six thousand bottles of Black Bowmore have been made available, thus adding to the desirability of this iconic whisky.
David Turner, Distillery Manager at Bowmore commented “1964 represents a significant date in the modern history of the distillery. Not only a key moment in how we distilled our spirit, but perhaps even more significant as this very spirit went onto create Black Bowmore. These defining moments are fundamental to the history of Bowmore. This collaboration with Aston Martin has allowed us to once again showcase this iconic single malt in the most incredible way.”
For Aston Martin, this was the era of their most iconic car. Launched in 1963 to considerable acclaim, the Aston Martin DB5 is now widely regarded as ‘the most famous car in the world’, not least by virtue of its links to the world’s most celebrated secret agent in 1964.
On its debut the DB5 represented a subtle but important evolution over its immediate predecessor, the DB4 Series 5, not least by virtue of an increase in engine capacity to 4.0-litres. This of course made the DB5 that much more of a sporting saloon which, combined with its exceptional styling, helped it to become one of the most desirable and admired sports cars of its generation. Sir David Brown, the then owner of Aston Martin Lagonda and the man who gave his initials to the ‘DB’ lineage, said of the car: “I believe it is the essential character of the DB5, and its ability to perform perfectly in all conditions, that makes this car so intensely satisfying to own.” It is this relentless pursuit of power with purpose that still helps to define the appeal of Aston Martin today.
Marek Reichman, Executive Vice President and Chief Creative Officer of Aston Martin Lagonda, said: “This exciting new association with Bowmore gives us the perfect opportunity to celebrate a vital part of our star-studded history by combining the unrivalled appeal of the iconic DB5 with the cultured flavours of this world-renowned single malt.”
In keeping with a commitment to true craftsmanship, the Black Bowmore DB5 bottle itself is handcrafted by Glasstorm, a bespoke contemporary glass studio, based in North East Scotland. With over 50 years of glass design, sculpting and creative expertise, each bottle took up to one week to be complete, reflecting the continued thread of attention to detail and skill which defines this collaboration.
Black Bowmore DB5 1964 is presented in a handmade presentation box; itself a work of art. Inspired by the distillery’s coastal home, the deep blue colour and wave embossing evoke a true sense of place. Created from the finest string-grain calfskin, featuring a custom solid brass latch and hinges, plated with nickel, reflective of the DB5.
The partners are set to unveil a series of collaborative projects and products over the coming months and years, ranging from exceptional experiences to design-led product initiatives with the goal of offering fans of the brands, across a broad spectrum, the opportunities to connect with the partnership.
As world class luxury brands Bowmore and Aston Martin urge consumers never to drink and drive. Drink Smart® messaging will be integrated into all brand activations around the partnership; while the dedicated Drink Smart® platform ensures communication with legal-purchase age adults about making informed, responsible choices.
Black Bowmore DB5 1964 will be available from late Autumn 2020 with an RSP of GBP£50,000.
On the eye:
Deep obsidian black
Layers of ripe exotic fruits and creme caramel. As time moves on soft tobacco smoke,
aromatic orange peel and rich black cherry come to the fore.
Intense flavours of mango, passion fruit and acacia honey interwoven with a powerful combination of coffee and tobacco smoke
A wonderfully long and decadent finish with tropical fruits and spice, defining over 240 years of craftsmanship
Cask type: Williams & Humbert Walnut Brown Oloroso Sherry Butt
Edition: 27 bottles
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