THE EXTRAORDINARY ART OF JAPANESE WHISKY
1 May 2012 12:37am
The meticulous attention to detail and blending of art with nature is a defining characteristic of Japanese culture. For almost 90 years, Japanese whisky distillers have evolved an approach defined as the Art of Japanese Whisky.
It can be discerned through such distinctive whiskies as the Yamazaki and Hakushu 12 year old single malts or the Hibiki 17 year old blended whisky.
For this reason the Yamazaki, Hakushu and Hibiki ranges have become the most honoured whiskies in the world with over 60 Trophies and Medals for excellence from internationally-recognised competitions such as the International Wine and Spirit Competition and the International Spirit Challenge.
The sudden world awakening to the qualities of Japanese whisky began in 2003 when Suntory’s Yamazaki 12 year old won a gold medal at the International Spirits Challenge in London.
Remarkably, in 2010 Suntory, Japan’s leading distiller of premium whiskies, was awarded the title of Best Distiller in the World, the first time such a title had gone to a Japanese company. Last year, Hibiki 21 year old was named World’s Best Blended Whisky, for the second year in succession. In fact, the Hibiki brand, whether for the 30 year-old or the 21 year-old, has held this much-envied title for the last four years.
If that were not enough, Yamazaki 25 year old was named World’s Best Single Malt at the same event this year: the World Whiskies Awards organised by Whisky magazine.
Rob Allanson, Editor of Whisky magazine said: “This is a stunning liquid with really good integration between distillation and maturation. A sherry bomb with flavours of sherry and Christmas cake. Suntory is consistently excellent. There are amazing things coming from Yamazaki especially – excellent balance and harmony.’
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