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Yamazaki Distillery (山崎蒸溜所 Yamazaki Jōryūsho ) is a Japanese whisky distillery located in Shimamoto, Osaka Prefecture, owned by Suntory. It was opened in 1923 and was Japan's first commercial whisky distillery. Seven thousand bottles of unblended malt whisky are on display in the "Whisky Library".
In 1923, Shinjiro Torii, the founder of Suntory and the father of Japanese whisky, built Japan’s first malt whisky distillery in the Vale of Yamazaki.
The distillery’s location on the outskirts of Japan’s ancient capital of Kyoto offered pure waters, diversity of climate and high humidity—the ideal environment for the maturation of good whisky.
Today, Suntory Yamazaki is the most popular single malt whisky in Japan and is enjoyed by whiskey connoisseurs around the world. Suntory Yamazaki is currently exported to more than 25 countries.
Styles of whisky
12 Year Old
Yamazaki Single Malt 12-Year-Old Whisky "is a medium-bodied whisky with the aromas of dried fruits and honey. It has a delicate, mellow taste with a lingering, woody, dry finish."
18 Year Old
Yamazaki Single Malt 18-Year-Old Whisky "is a full-bodied whisky with spicy cherry-like tones. The toffee aromatics of this copper-gold colored whisky offer a pleasant, long, dry finish."
There are other offerings outside of the US (which are the 12yr, 18yr, and 1984 which is limited to 300/2500 bottles), such as a 10, 25, 35 and a 50 year old. Some offerings are dated such as 1980, 1984, 1993, and lastly Puncheon and sherry offerings.
Spirit ratings organizations, such as the Beverage Testing Institute and the San Francisco World Spirits Competitions, have reacted very favorably to Yamazaki's offerings. Most notably, the 18-Year earned five consecutive double gold medals at the San Francisco Spirits Competitions between 2008 and 2012. Ratings aggregator Proof66.com places the Yamazaki 18-Year in the 97th percentile of all rated whiskies.
Yamazaki 25 Year Old won Best Japanese Single Malt at the 2013 World Whisky Awards.