From Yamazaki to Hakushu: Exploring Suntory’s Single Malt Distilleries

Witnessing the nature that envelops the birthplaces of Japanese's prestigious whiskies

Trekking the Kentucky Bourbon Trail or carving along the Highlands of Scotland on a scotch whisky tour, expert and novice travelers observe that distilleries differentiate themselves through water, wood and their particular method in bringing it all together. Thousands of miles from those well-traveled routes, and separated by a four-and-a-half hour drive through the Japanese countryside, Suntory‘s Hakushu and Yamazaki distilleries do much the same. …

Nikka Whisky Distillery, Hokkaido

A serene hub for spirits production on Japan's northernmost island

One of the most well-known Japanese whisky brands, Nikka‘s origins date back to 1934 when Masataka Taketsuru built the Yoichi Distillery (named after the town in which it’s located) on the island of Hokkaido. Taketsuru (the son of a sake producer) had returned from an extended stay in Scotland, during which time he studied the craft of whisky-making while apprenticing at local distilleries—all while working …

Suntory’s Hibiki Japanese Harmony

The esteemed whisky house debuts a new expression

Last week, in a sun-soaked room perched atop NYC’s New Museum, Suntory Whisky’s Chief Blender, Shinji Fukuyo, unveiled the latest product in their Hibiki range: Japanese Harmony. Last year the brand made waves when its Yamazaki Single Malt Sherry Cask 2013 was pronounced the world’s best whisky—a first for Japan—by expert Jim Murray. This wasn’t the brand’s first accolade, and in fact their Hakushu and …