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Thursday, September 9, 2021

The House of Suntory Announces Yamazaki 55 Year Old - Perfect if you have $60k laying around!

Beam Suntory owned House of Suntory has announced a 55 year old Yamazaki. This release is a blend of  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. This is one of the oldest releases I've ever seen and is limited to 100 bottles that come in with a whopping $60,000 suggested retail price!

Suntory’s Fifth-Generation Chief Blender Shinji Fukuyo spoke of this release:
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. 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.

As part of the release, Beam Suntory will donate $5,000 for every bottle released in this year’s collection, totaling $500,000, to The White Oak Initiative, a group committed to the long-term sustainability of America’s white oak forests.

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.

The release comes in at 92 proof (46% alcohol) and includes the following tasting notes:

Nose: A robust aroma redolent of sandal wood. A sweet, mature bouquet like well-ripened fruit.

Taste: 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.

My Take

As I say with all of these crazy releases... there are 1,000,000 better ways to spend $60k. I also think it's incredibly hollow to throw on the $5000 donation per bottle to the White Oak Initiative.... while that's nice, Beam Suntory had billions in revenue (334.04B yen) and billions in profit (21.49B yen)... the 100k isn't even a rounding error. 

In terms of the release, if you don't have 60k floating around... there are approximately 25 shots per bottle (at 1.5 oz per shot)... so if you find someone willing to sell without making a profit... you can try it for the low cost of $2400 per shot.

What do you think? Drop a note in the comments.

Source: Beam Suntory

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