The Yamazaki distillery
The Yamazaki distillery is to Japanese single malt what some Speyside distilleries are to Scottish single malt: a great classic. It oscillates between notes of malted barley and a pleasant sweetness. The rare versions aged in ex-sherry casks easily measure up to the great sherry cask single malts of Scotland such as Glendronach, Glenfarclas, Macallan, etc.
Furthermore, for some years, Yamazaki has enjoyed a reputation for its successful mastering of maturation in mizunara Japanese oak. The single cask mizunara oak whiskies are their most famous and have won many prizes in prestigious competitions. They are always in high demand and are becoming increasingly difficult to find.
Luckily, other bottlings, including most notably the famous 12 year-old, are also aged in these barrels and represent an excellent opportunity for enthusiasts to sample the unique mizunara flavour.
Founded in 1923, Yamazaki is the oldest distillery in the Japanese archipelago and inspires as much pride in the Japanese Suntory group as it does curiosity in single malt enthusiasts. It was the first non-Scottish distillery to own a copper pot still.
Located between Osaka and Kyoto - the former Japanese capital - Yamazaki provides its whisky with the ideal environment for maturation, boasting pure water, a varied climate and high humidity.