Archive for July, 2009

Adelphi Distillery Limited Newsletter

Dear All,

We have come to the end of a very generous month of sponsorship. Mid-July saw us setting sail (hypothetically) to the west coast to sponsor 1 of the 4 days of the Mylne Regatta with a new Adelphi Fascadale Trophy race. Our resident “Cliff the Cooper” made a fantastic job of 2 scaled-down, replica ship’s breaker casks which were duly presented to the 2 class winning boats, and a tasting in the grand hall of Mount Stuart, to 140 guests, rounded off the day. The following week took us back to the east coast and a chance to sponsor the Clan Convention at the Scottish Parliament. With a special Clan Convention labelled single malt on offer, a scrum of a tasting and a mini of our blend to each delegate, the day was a great success – especially if you think that this was the 1st time in history that so many clansmen and their chiefs had been in the same room without a bloody feud erupting.

You may also have noticed that there was no June offer – after you had cleared our warehouse of the Laudale in May there was nothing left to offer you!

However, you will be delighted to hear that we have just completed another bottling of 6 casks and I am offering 2 options ahead of them going live on our website – you are very welcome to go for one, or a combination, or none at all…

Option 1

This is an ideal sweet, relatively light, summer whisky. Plenty of correct wood influence, but in no way over-powered. Dancey Man offer £48.45 inc. VAT per 70cl

ISLE OF JURA 1996
12 Yr. old Island 60.3% Vol.
1 of only 217 bottles from cask 5191

A complex and somewhat unusual example of the make, well matured in a first-fill American barrel, which has imparted a rich golden hue. The first impressions are predominantly fruity – baked apple and plum, soon joined by an acidic note which may be pineapple, all on a pastry or flap-jack base. Behind these aromas is a hint of sphagnum moss – a very light medicinal smokiness. The latter becomes more apparent when water is added, becoming mineral-like (bathsalts?), while the fruit aromas become Dolly Mixtures or boiled travel sweets. There is a hint of sweet tobacco or dog-roses. The taste is sweet, with some acidity, a hint of white chocolate, then plenty of cask-derived coconut in the aftertaste.

Option 2

A real rarity, and one of those whiskies that doesn’t come along very often. This is bottled under our Adelphi Limited label, and presented in a wooden box, as it has reached the dizzy age of 35 years. Dancey Man offer £171.00 inc. VAT per 70cl

BUNNAHABHAIN 1974
35 Yr. old Islay 56.6% Vol.
1 of only 200 bottles from cask 4780

This is a stunning example of how good long-aged malt whisky can be. It is the colour of Cola or Olde English Oak and has excellent beading, suggesting a big mouth-feel. The first nose is of scented oil; heavy but with a herbal fragrance which we identify as rosemary – a much reduced, rosemary infused gravy, with balsamic vinegar. After a little while sandalwood and camphor appear, lending a nose-cooling effect when a drop of water is added (it doesn’t need much). This freshens the nose and introduces traces of coconut, treacle toffee, molasses and even liquorice, but no trace of sulphur. Wonderfully viscous and mouth-filling; sweet, mouth-cooling, drying elegantly in the very long finish – like a dried out Christmas cake, with almonds.

Please let me know if you would like any.

Best wishes,

Alex.

Alex Bruce
Sales & Marketing Director
Adelphi Distillery Ltd.
Tel/Fax: +44 (0) 1383 842 912
Mobile: +44 (0) 7795 424 838
Skype: alex.bruce
Email: alex@adelphidistillery.com
Web: http://www.adelphidistillery.com/

A New Video Single Malt Scotch Whisky Review by Ralfy

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Ralfy has a new single malt scotch whisky video review (#65) online available at  http://www.ralfy.com/ In this episode he gets up to some devilment with cigars. Click on “Whisky Reviews” to view his latest.

Balvenie 12yo (40%, Signature batch No. 001, +/-2008)

A recent limited release from the justly famous Balvenie Distillery in Speyside; Signature, of David Stewart, The Balvenie Malt Master. The nose is sweet and honeyed with a back ground of warm brown Demerara sugar, a slight bit of oranges with gentle wood and wood workers shop. Very soft and gentle. The taste is also quite sweet with raisins, orange, toffee, oak, cedar and a rich sweetness much like cooked peaches. It’s very tasty. The finish is quite dry with the sweetness but also a lot of oak and mild leather and tobacco notes with some latter development of barley dust. Also some hints of fresh hay. Over all very well balanced from start to finish, not a dram that grabs you by the throat but is much more subtle and complex, you have to pay attention. One to savour rather than just slam down your throat.

C$76

Score 86 Points

Visit the Balvenie at http://www.thebalvenie.com/

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Scotch Malt Whisky Society News

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Night night, sleep tight: Sleepover Offers at The Vaults
A night in one of the Society’s Edinburgh flats, just a few steps away from The Vaults Members’ Room sounds to good to be true. Especially with our October and November Sleepover Offers.

Enjoy a two night stay (Mon and Tue or Wed and Thu), a fantastic two-course supper in our one-of-a-kind Members’ Room (for everyone staying with you, on whatever night takes your fancy) along with a magnum of champagne on arrival.

Ardbeg and Sprinkbank: Sleeps 4
Only: £280 (£35pp per night)

Linkwood: Sleeps 2
Only: £192 (£48pp per night)

Book NOW until Mon 31 Aug

Offer available: throughout October and November

We look forward to welcoming you soon

Staying over at The Vaults 

Edinburgh Festival Events: Sat 8 to Mon 31 Aug ’09
This year join us for our action-packed programme of Tutored Tastings at both Edinburgh venues, The Vaults or 28 Queen Street, Sat 8 to Mon 31 Aug.

Celebrating 25 years of sensational single casks
Our 25th anniversary celebrations in November 2008 marked an exciting turning point for The Scotch Malt Whisky Society. With so many intriguing changes in the offing, the year ahead promises to be one of our best yet. See how it all started  http://www.smws.co.uk/our-unique-whisky/

The Malt Messenger from Kensington in Calgary Alberta

Dear Malt Messenger Subscribers,

As I’m sure you noticed a few weeks back, our Premier the Right Honourable Ed Stelmach, backpedaled on the increase his government had imposed on Provincial liquor taxes in the recent budget. The raised taxes came as even more of a shock to retailers than they did to consumers. All in all it is safe to assume that the voters of our fine Province weren’t pleased with an increase to their taxes, and said the Premier “It was something that I had a hard time agreeing with; it’s been bothering me all that time,”. The Premier’s change of heart is great news for consumers of single malts, the $4-5 price increase we had to phase in on many of our products will now gradually be phased out as new (reduced tax stock) trickles into the store. I’ve provided a list of some price-reduced products below.

On another note, in the last week a couple of old-stand-by drams have trickled back into the store. Kensington Wine Market has found a small amount of Lagavulin Distillers Edition 1991, a whisky we’ve been out of for more than a year; see below for more info on the 1991 Distillers Edition. We have also received a small allocation Macallan 25Yr. Macallan 25Yr (in the sherry oak line) is one of the most sought after whiskies in the world, with demand outstripping its supply. Past allocations have been as few as 2-3 bottles a year for the store if we received any at all. For more on the Macallan 25Yr, see below.

Finally, we’ve added a couple of new tastings for the early fall: firstly, on Thursday September 3rd, we will be having a tasting of whiskies from Tobermory and Bunnahabhain distilleries, including a presentation of photos from my recent trip to Tobermory and its home, the breathtaking Island of Mull; secondly, on Thursday September 10th Manuel Torres, producer of the “Spirit of Don Manuel Tequila”, will be in the store to talk about his craft, sample his tequilas and mix some drinks! There is more on these tastings below, and the full fall tasting schedule will be out in a couple of weeks.

Slainte!

Andrew Ferguson

Lagavulin Distillers Edition 1991 – $149.99

Lagavulin, est. 1816, is one of Scotland’s most iconic whiskies. Its classic, dry, smoky, salty palate is a favourite the world over, and its 16 year old expression is one of the world’s benchmark whiskies. The Distillers Edition has been matured in the standard American oak bourbon barrels, but has been finished in Pedro Ximenez Sherry casks. Pedro Ximenez is a style of sherry that can be as sweet and thick as maple syrup. The Pedro Ximenez adds a sweetness to the whisky which helps to mellow out what would otherwise be a very smoky palate.

KWM has very limited supplies of this whisky.

 Old Macallan 25 Year – $497.99

The late Michael Jackson (whisky writer) scored the Old Macallan 25 Year Old 95pts, his highest score, ranking it along with one other whisky, Lagavulin 16Yr, as the best single malt in the world. For a long time this was the oldest continually available expression of Macallan, until the release of the Fine Oak 30. The 25 Year is among all premium aged single malts the most sought after in the world. Past allocations to the store have been as little as 2 bottles a year, if we received any at all. In the last decade the popularity of this whisky has gone off the charts, in particular since newly affluent members of the BRIC (Brazil, Russia, India, China) countries have developed a thirst for malt whisky, and a taste for the finer things. As Speysiders go, Macallan is a big whisky, and it can stand up to long maturation in sherry casks, the 50 year old Lalique bottling is a fine example of this. The Macallan 25 Year is chewy with rich sherry notes, subtle malt, and a touch of smoke.

KWM is getting 6 bottles in next week! Don’t hesitate, they won’t last long…

NEW TASTING – Tobermory & Bunnahabhain Distilleries – Thursday September 3rd – $50

With the new whiskies from Tobermory and Bunnahabhain distilleries on the market it seems an appropriate time to have a tasting to introduce the distilleries and sample their wares. You’ll sample 4 whiskies from Bunnahabhain: 12 Year, 18 Year, 25 Year and a 1978 Signatory independent bottling; as well as two whiskies from Tobermory distillery on Mull: Tobermory 15 Year Special Edition and Ledaig 10 Year. While sampling the whiskies you’ll enjoy a presentation of photos on both distilleries, as well as some of my photos from the island of Mull taken this past May.  

Great Malts at Reduced Prices – Thanks Ed!

As touched on above, the Alberta government’s tinkering with the liquor prices has caused some volatility in pricing. At Kensington Wine Market we strive to provide you, our customers with the best, and most fair pricing possible. We don’t do lost leaders, nor do we attach a premium to rare or expensive whiskies. We take the same % margin across the board. Once a month I take a look at these margins to make sure they are accurate and fair. As products comes in, at the new tax rate we will be adjusting our pricing to reflect this reality. Here are some of the new prices which came to light in the past couple weeks!

Springbank 1996 KWM Manzanilla Cask – Our exclusive single cask bottling of Springbank is rapidly disappearing, less than 100 of the 600 bottles remain. Was $115.99 – Now $109.99

Finlaggan Old Islay Reserve – Our best value single malt, historically our best-ever-seller and our first and oldest exclusive! – Was $54.99 – Now $50.99

Ileach Cask Strength – This independently bottled Lagavulin scored 97pts in Jim Murray’s Whisky Bible; a KWM exclusive. – Was $89.99 – Now $85.99

Benromach Organic – The world’s first organic single malt whisky, 91pts Jim Murray, exclusive to KWM, and we only have 25 bottles left! – Was $89.99 – Now $85.99

Longrow 10 Year – Peated, Islay-style single malt from Springbank distillery. – Was $103.99 –  Now $95.99

Longrow 14 Year – Peated, Islay-style single malt from Springbank distillery. – Was $115.49 – Now $106.49

Hazelburn 8 Year – An unpeated, triple distilled whisky from Springbank distillery in Campbeltown. – Was $91.49 –  Now $86.99

Lagavulin 16 Year – The aristocrat of Islay, dry, smoky, salty and smooth. Huge price drop thanks to A) Diageo discovering there is an elasticity with respect to price, and B) the tax decrease… – Was $116.99 – Now $95.99

Bruichladdich 1998 Manzanilla Sherry – This vintage Bruichladdich was matured in exclusively Manzanilla Sherry casks. – Was $79.99 – Now $75.99

Bruichladdich 1998 Oloroso Sherry – This vintage Bruichladdich was matured in exclusively Oloroso Sherry casks. – Was $79.99 – Now $75.99

Bruichladdich Resurrection – The first Bruichladdich single malt 100% produced by Jim McEwan and the new owners. – Was $80.99 – Now $75.99

Port Charlotte 7Yr – This very collectible bottling is only the third official bottling of Port Charlotte. – Was $119.49 – Now $105.99

Cask Strength Highland Park 1995 – The product of three sherry casks, this Orcadian has a big, round, rich palate. – Was $123.99 – Now $111.99
Cask Strength Mitonduff 1996 – A rare Speysider matured in European oak sherry casks. – Was $122.49 – Now $111.99

Cask Strength Old Pulteney 1993 – The product of a single first fill sherry butt, this whisky is enormous… – Was $131.99 – Now $119.99

Isle of Jura Superstition – Heavily peated single malt whisky from the Jura distillery on the island of the same name. – Was $81.99 – Now $77.49

Premium Barrel Laphraoig 8 Year – A classically earthy and medicinal Laphroaig bottled in a beautiful ceramic bottle. – Was $146.49 – Now $135.99

Auchentoshan 3 Wood – The distillery’s most popular expression among those who like fuller, richer whiskies. – Was $77.49 – Now $73.49

If you have any whisky questions or comments concerning The Malt Messenger please contact me by e-mail, phone, or drop by the store. Feel free to forward me any whisky news you feel should be included in a future issue of The Malt Messenger; it might just get included.

All of the products mentioned in THE MALT MESSENGER can be purchased in store, over the phone or from our website at www.kensingtonwinemarket.com.. All prices quoted in the Malt Messenger are subject to change!

Thanks for reading the Malt Messenger!

Slainte!

Andrew Ferguson
KWM Scotchguy

403-283-8000
888-283-9004
1257 Kensington Rd. NW
Calgary, AB, Canada
T2N 3P8
scotchguy@kensingtonwinemarket.com

Tom Bulleit of Bulleit Bourbon in Vancouver August 11th, 2009

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Tuesday August 11th, 2009 6:30 to 8:30 PM

39th and Cambie BC Signature Liquor Store

5555 Cambie Street, Vancouver BC V5Z 3A3

Please note limited seating available

RSVP to Kristie Nestman at kristie.nestman@diageo.com

RSVP Deadline August 10th, 2009

Glenfiddich Masterpiece Unveiled-Rare & Precious 50 Year Old Single Malt

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Glenfiddich masterpiece unveiled

Rare and precious 50 Year Old single malt makes grand entrance at prestigious launch event

Dufftown, Speyside, Scotland: At an exclusive event, held this week, at The Glenfiddich Distillery, Glenfiddich 50 Year Old was unveiled – one of the rarest and most precious expressions of authentic single malt whisky ever released by Scotland’s most distinguished distillery.

With a strictly limited supply (over this and the next ten years, only 50 will be released world wide each year from a stock of just 500 highly covetable bottles) Glenfiddich 50 Year Old is destined to become a significant landmark in single malt whisky history.

For half a century, two casks of whisky have aged gently in the semi-darkness of Glenfiddich’s Warehouse 8, under the watchful eyes of the industry’s longest-serving and most experienced Malt Master, David Stewart.

Peter Gordon, the current Chairman and as a fifth generation descendent of the distillery’s founder, is the great-great-grandson of William Grant, commented: “At Glenfiddich, nothing is more important than producing the world’s best whisky. Our independence enables us to do things differently and focus on the liquid above all else, a sentiment embodied in the flawless quality of this single malt.

“We’re happy to wait as long as we need to – up to fifty years in this instance – to produce the perfect whisky. The Glenfiddich 50 Year Old is the pinnacle of our whisky-making excellence and epitomises my great-great grandfather’s vision of creating the very ‘best dram in the valley’.”

Peter Gordon continued by saying: “Staying true to the pioneering spirit of our founder, William Grant, who laid down stocks of whisky for future generations to enjoy, we have consistently planned ahead and have more aged stock than any other distillery. Our whisky spends years being carefully matured in our warehouses, with each additional year imparting light and elegant notes to the liquid. Every new year is important when it comes to making exceptional whisky – and Glenfiddich 50 Year Old is the ultimate expression of this pioneering foresight.”

Glenfiddich 50 Year Old is imbued with a unique preciousness that only time can bring, and remains remarkably light and elegant on the palate. The nose is beautifully harmonious with an uplifting, vibrant and complex aroma. The taste is initially sweet with a zesty orange marmalade and vanilla toffee, which then cascades through a wonderful series of layers: aromatic herbs, floral and soft fruits, silky oak tannin and hints of gentle smoke. The finish is exceptionally long with a touch of dry oak and the merest trace of peat.

It’s not just the exquisite taste of the whisky that sets new levels of perfection; the packaging reflects the excellence of the whisky and is similarly rich with authenticity and heritage. Design cues have been painstakingly taken from archives that record the distillery’s 120 year history; the hand-blown bottles are individually numbered and presented in beautifully hand-stitched, leather-bound cases, which were inspired by William Grant’s personal ledgers.

Nestling next to the bottle, a leather bound book details the whisky’s history and provides pages for proud owners to record personal tasting notes for each occasion they enjoy their whisky. A certificate is also included within the case which has been hand-signed by four of the distillery’s long-serving craftsmen who, between them, have spent 160 years at Glenfiddich keeping a watchful eye as this precious whisky has matured. On return to the distillery, the certificate will also be hand signed by Peter Gordon himself.

Each bottle is decorated in Scottish silver, crafted by Thomas Fattorini, a sixth generation silversmith, and imprinted with William Grant & Sons’ own hallmark.

Glenfiddich 50 Year Old will be available in the world’s most prestigious airports for the next two months, before a strictly limited number travel from the distillery to select retailers and high-end establishments around the world. It will sell for £10,000 per bottle.

 ENDS

 For further information, please contact Emma Harris/ Sophie Smith

eharris@golinharris.com

ssmith@golinharris.com

0207 067 0623/0415

Notes to editors

William Grant & Sons Ltd:

·         William Grant & Sons is an independent family-owned distiller founded by William Grant in 1886 and today still controlled by the fifth generation of his family.  The Company distils some of the world’s leading brands of Scotch whisky, including the world’s favourite single malt Glenfiddich®, the handcrafted range of The Balvenie® single malts and one of the world’s best loved blended Scotches, Grant’s®, as well as selected other spirits, including Hendrick’s® Gin, and Sailor Jerry® Spiced Rum

Click on www.williamgrant.com for more information on the Company and its brands
 

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Keep Johnnie Walker in Kilmarnock

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March on John Finnie Street

Building on the phenomenal success of the march and rally on Sunday, the Keep Johnnie Walker in Kilmarnock campaign now enters a new phase, as messages of support flood in from countries across the globe, via the campaign website.

To echo the words of Kilmarnock’s ither famous poet, Rab Wilson, who penned “Stridin’ Forrit!”, an honest and passionate account of the events surrounding Diageo’s recent announcement to close its bottling plant in Kilmarnock:

Ye’re kent in Kent, an Timbuktu,
There’s elbucks jink in Kalamazoo

Indeed the campaign website has been visited by people in no fewer than 29 different countries including Netherlands, France, Germany, Spain, Greece, Poland, Thailand, China, Japan and Russia.

At 1:30pm on Sunday, just as the march from Howard Park reached its halfway point on Hill Street, organisers received word that the website had crashed, due to the volume of visitors trying to watch the event unfold online.

The Cross Party Working Group for the campaign said: “The overseas response for the campaign to date has been very encouraging. Diageo is a global company; Johnnie Walker is a global brand therefore it makes perfect sense for us to take this campaign to a wider global audience.

“Next week, in partnership with the World Burns Federation, we will send campaign information to Burns associations all over the world. Our twin town contacts are also expressing their support. Dr Curtis Smith, Town Mayor of Kilmarnock, Virginia, USA, has
signed a Resolution of Support to express his support to Keep Johnnie Walker in Kilmarnock.”

Johnnie Walker and Kilmarnock are synonymous in the minds of expats and whisky drinkers throughout the world. Kilmarnock is known as the home of Johnnie Walker in the same way as Dublin is the home of Guinness.  Our fight to save this unique brand identity is one which is touching people far and wide.”

Coverage of the event has featured in newspapers and in television broadcasts across the world, including Belgium, Canada, Australia and New Zealand and America.

By web, by mail, by TV, by radio, by press or by tweets, from New York to New Zealand and from Canada to Krakow, the campaign message is spreading across the globe.

For further information, visit www.keepjohnniewalkerinkilmarnock.com

SUNTORY YAMAZAKI 1984 SINGLE MALT WHISKY

SUNTORY YAMAZAKI 1984 SINGLE MALT WHISKY

The Distinctive Whisky of Japan

(July 29, 2009) – New York, NY… Suntory Limited proudly announces the limited introduction of YAMAZAKI 1984 Single Malt Whisky in the US, commemorating the company’s 110th anniversary as well as the 25th anniversary of the YAMAZAKI brand.  This October, only 300 individually-numbered bottles of this precious liquid will be released in the United States. 

Smooth and full-bodied, Suntory YAMAZAKI is the superlative single malt whisky of Japan.  YAMAZAKI 1984 has a distinctive, cinnamon-like flavor, the result of its key malt, aged in Japanese mizunara casks, the hidden treasure of Suntory. All of the malt whiskies featured in YAMAZAKI 1984 were originally distilled in 1984. The new YAMAZAKI 1984 joins the existing marques, aged for 12 or 18 years. 

About Yamazaki 1984
Handcrafted at the oldest distillery in Japan, Suntory YAMAZAKI 1984 is made from the purest natural ingredients distilled through the art of Japanese craftsmanship in perfect harmony with nature.  Indeed, Suntory YAMAZAKI is made with the same pure water used in Japan’s most esteemed tea ceremonies.  With a rich, sophisticated character all its own, Yamazaki’s secret lies in the harmonious marriage of single malt matured in three different oak casks – American, Spanish and Japanese.

As the supply of casks became limited in the 1940’s, Suntory turned to making its own casks from Japanese mizunara oak.   The coopers discovered the porous wood was prone to leaks; blenders found that the mizunara imparted overbearing aromas and taste to the malts stored within.  But their dismay turned to delight when they discovered, after the long period of aging, the mizunara oak casks added a distinctive touch to the whisky, endowing it with sweet fragrance reminiscent of incense.  

The Suntory YAMAZAKI Whisky-Making Process
While YAMAZAKI production is very similar to the Scottish process, key differences lie in the use of selected barley strains and peating levels, along with the legendary, ultra pure waters from the outskirts of Kyoto to produce its smooth, honeyed taste.

The Suntory YAMAZAKI production process begins with the selection of the finest barley according to strict quality standards.  The barley germinates on exposure to moisture and air, producing enzymes that will later convert starch into sugars.  The grains of malt are then ground into grist and mixed with pure water from the Vale of Yamazaki.  This mixture yields a sweet liquid called wort. 

Adding the finest yeast to the wort begins the fermentation process.  Differing from Scottish whisky, Yamazaki uses wooden washbacks to ferment the wash longer, giving the whisky its creamy flavor.  The resulting wash is distilled twice in copper pots.  Only the distinctive middle cut of the second distillation is collected to become whisky.

After the distillation process is complete, the new spirits are aged in the selection of Japanese, American and Spanish oak casks, where the whisky matures to its amber color and smooth taste.

Tasting Notes
On the nose, YAMAZAKI 1984 opens with notes of cinnamon, ripe fruit, vanilla and incense.  On the palate, it offers a sweet, pleasantly sour and mature taste with a lasting depth of flavor.  The finish is lingering and slightly sweet.  Its color is a deep red amber.

History of Japanese Whisky
The history of Japanese whisky began in 1923 when Shinjiro Torii, the founder of Suntory and the father of Japanese whisky, built Japan’s first malt whisky distillery in the Vale of Yamazaki.  Located on the outskirts of Kyoto, the ancient capital of Japan, this proved to be the ideal environment for whisky production. 

A good whisky is born of pure water and a climate where cool temperatures and high humidity create an ideal maturation environment.  The Vale of Yamazaki is famed for its pure waters, prized by the famous Japanese tea ceremony master Senno Rikyu.  The Yamazaki distillery, where whisky was crafted from pure malt using copper pot stills, was the first of its kind outside of Scotland. 

Today, Suntory YAMAZAKI is the most popular single malt whisky in Japan and is enjoyed by whisky connoisseurs the world over.  Suntory YAMAZAKI was ranked the world’s thirteenth bestselling single malt whisky in terms of cases sold in 2008, and is currently exported to around 25 countries, including the United States.

Enjoying Suntory YAMAZAKI
The complex aromas and flavors of Suntory YAMAZAKI can be enjoyed in a variety of ways.  The ideal method to appraise its rich, fruity aroma is to enjoy YAMAZAKI straight, either as an aperitif or after-dinner drink.  Tasting Suntory YAMAZAKI on the rocks is an excellent way to appreciate its smoothness and flavor. 

Product Name, Volume, Suggested Retail Price, Alcohol Content, Packaging:
The YAMAZAKI 1984 Single Malt Whisky, 750 ml, $550-$650, 48%, 6 bottles
Date Available: Gradual release starting October, 2009
Sales Area: Select US Markets

For more information on YAMAZAKI, please visit www.yamazakiusa.com.  The fine line of YAMAZAKI single malt whiskies is distributed by Skyy Spirits in the US. 

Suntory Ltd.

Suntory Ltd. is one of the world’s leading wine and spirits companies.  Founded in 1899, Suntory was the first company to introduce western-style spirits to Japan.  Suntory’s businesses today encompass liquor, including whisky, shochu, wine and beer; food products; soft drinks; floral products; restaurants; and sports.  Suntory exports a wide range of authentic Japanese whiskies and liqueurs to 35 countries, including the United States.  Made with exceptional Japanese craftsmanship, these include the unique melon liqueur MIDORI, which is especially popular in the U.S., and YAMAZAKI Single Malt Whisky, Japan’s premier single malt whisky.  With its head office in Osaka, the Suntory Group comprises 170 companies operating in 17 countries.

About Skyy Spirits, LLC

Skyy Spirits, LLC is the US-based wholly owned subsidiary of Gruppo Campari (Reuters CPRI:MI – Bloomberg CPR IM) and the definitive marketer and distributor of super-premium and luxury spirits brands in North America.  Launched in 1992 with the introduction of its flagship brand, SKYY® Vodka, Skyy Spirits has grown exponentially, building a portfolio unrivaled in its quality, innovation and style, making it a top choice among distributors, retailers and consumers.  Skyy Spirits manages Gruppo Campari’s portfolio in the US of such leading brands as SKYY® Vodka, SKYY90®, SKYY InfusionsTM, Campari®, Wild Turkey® Straight Kentucky Bourbon, American Honey™, Russell’s Reserve®, Cabo Wabo® Tequila, Ouzo 12®, X-Rated® Fusion Liqueur® and Jean-Marc XO Vodka®.  Skyy Spirits is also the exclusive US distributor of Cutty Sark® Scotch Whisky, The Glenrothes® Single Malt Scotch Whisky, Bowmore® Islay Single Malt Scotch Whisky, Auchentoshan® Lowland Single Malt Scotch Whisky, Glen Garioch® Highland Single Malt Scotch Whisky, Flor de Caña® Rum, Carolans Irish Cream®, Tullamore Dew Irish Whiskey®, Irish Mist® Liqueur, Midori® Melon Liqueur, ZEN Green Tea Liqueur TM and The Yamazaki® Single Malt Whisky. 

Skyy Spirits was founded and is headquartered in San Francisco, California.  More information on the company can be found at www.skyyspirits.com and www.camparigroup.com.  Please enjoy Skyy Spirits brands responsibly and in moderation.

Suntory Launches New Whisky in US: HIBIKI 12 Year Old

Suntory Launches New Whisky in US:  HIBIKI 12 Year Old Launch to Celebrate the 20th Anniversary of HIBIKI—
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(July 29, 2009) – New York, NY… This October, Suntory Limited will introduce Suntory HIBIKI 12 Year Old in the United States.  This premium blended Japanese whisky, often referred to as the pinnacle of the Suntory portfolio, celebrates its 20th anniversary this year.  HIBIKI whisky was first seen by many Americans in the feature film Lost In Translation, as the brand touted for Japanese TV by actor Bill Murray.  Now, no longer “lost” to the American market, it will be available wherever fine whiskies are sold in the US.

As a fitting way to encourage worldwide brand-building, Suntory has planned a special US launch expanding the global popularity of the 12-year-old class in the global blended whisky market.  This new offering brings together all of Suntory’s whisky making expertise and blending craftsmanship for whisky enthusiasts around the world.

About HIBIKI 12 Year Old

HIBIKI 12 Year Old boasts unique characteristics that no other 12-year-old whisky in the world has to offer.   A superior blend of over 30 handcrafted, specially aged whiskies, HIBIKI is Suntory’s original blended whisky.

The Art of Blending

To create HIBIKI, Suntory selects malt whiskies with extraordinary qualities that spring naturally from the crystal clear waters and warm climates surrounding the Yamazaki and Hakushu distilleries.  These carefully selected malts are then blended with a variety of Japanese grain whiskies that feature a touch of malt matured in Umeshu casks — special casks that have been used in the long-term aging of Japanese plum liqueur.  Finally, the blend is topped off with a superlative vintage whisky aged more than 30 years.  The artistry of blending is combined with bamboo charcoal filtering, a unique process which gives HIBIKI its distinctive sweet and mellow flavor.

The HIBIKI Aging Process

The malt whiskies in HIBIKI are matured 12 years or more and are perfectly matched with mellow grain whiskies of the same age.  Once the whisky has been aged in white oak casks it is then allowed to mature in Umeshu casks. The use of these plum liqueur-seasoned casks creates a unique bouquet of fruity aromas and a velvety soft texture, two characteristics that are unique to Suntory whisky. The addition of venerable malt aged more than 30 years strengthens the full bouquet, resulting in a clean, full bodied flavor.

Tasting Notes

On the nose, HIBIKI opens with a fruity bouquet of plums, raspberries and pineapples, followed by sweet honey and vanilla. On the palate, a soft and mellow sweetness makes HIBIKI a whisky best enjoyed straight.  The finish is long, clean, sweet and spicy. As for color, HIBIKI shines with brilliant amber hue that’s tinged with a warm hint of gold.

Packaging Highlights

The exquisite HIBIKI bottle has 24 facets, representing both the hours in a day and the ancient Japanese calendar, in which a year was divided into twenty four parts. Suntory uses a unique Japanese paper for the HIBIKI label.  The texture of the Echizen paper, or “Washi” in Japanese, is achieved through the careful application of traditional Japanese paper-making techniques. The Japanese symbol on the label means HIBIKI, a word that holds many positive meanings in Japanese, one of them being “Harmony.”  Suntory chose HIBIKI to express the exquisite balance of this whisky, born of the harmony of malt on malt.

HIBIKI is distributed in the US by Skyy Spirits, LLC.  For more information on Skyy Spirits, visit www.skyyspirits.com.

International awards won by Suntory HIBIKI 17, 21 and 30 Year Olds in recent years

Year Competition Award Winner
2008 International Spirits Challenge
 (ISC, UK) Trophy HIBIKI 30 Years Old
 World Whisky Awards (WWA, UK) World’s Best Blended Whisky HIBIKI 30 Years Old
2007 International Spirits Challenge
 (ISC, UK) Trophy HIBIKI 30 Years Old
 World Whisky Awards (WWA, UK) World’s Best Blended Whisky HIBIKI 30 Years Old
 International Wine and Spirit Competition
 (IWSC, UK) Best in Class HIBIKI 30 Years Old
   HIBIKI 17 Years Old
2006 International Spirits Challenge
 (ISC, UK) Trophy HIBIKI 30 Years Old
 International Spirits Challenge
 (ISC, UK) Gold HIBIKI 21 Years Old
2005 International Spirits Challenge
 (ISC, UK) Gold HIBIKI 21 Years Old
 San Francisco World Spirits Competition  (SWSC, U.S.A.) Gold HIBIKI 17 Years Old
2004 International Spirits Challenge
 (ISC, UK) Trophy HIBIKI 30 Years Old
 International Spirits Challenge
 (ISC, UK) Gold HIBIKI 21 Years Old

- Details –
▼ Product Name, Volume, Suggested Retail Price, Alcohol Content, Packaging
  Suntory HIBIKI Whisky Aged 12 Years , 750 ml , $55-60 , 43% , 6 bottles
▼ Date Available Gradual release starting October, 2009
▼ Sales Area Select US Markets

Suntory Ltd.
Suntory Ltd. is one of the world’s leading wine and spirits companies.  Founded in 1899, Suntory was the first company to introduce western-style spirits to Japan.  Suntory’s businesses today encompass liquor, including whisky, shochu, wine and beer; food products; soft drinks; floral products; restaurants; and sports.  Suntory exports a wide range of authentic Japanese whiskies and liqueurs to 35 countries, including the United States.  Made with exceptional Japanese craftsmanship, these include the unique melon liqueur MIDORI, which is especially popular in the U.S., and YAMAZAKI Single Malt Whisky, Japan’s premier single malt whisky.  With its head office in Osaka, the Suntory Group comprises 170 companies operating in 17 countries.

About Skyy Spirits, LLC

Skyy Spirits, LLC is the US-based wholly owned subsidiary of Gruppo Campari (Reuters CPRI:MI – Bloomberg CPR IM) and the definitive marketer and distributor of super-premium and luxury spirits brands in North America.  Launched in 1992 with the introduction of its flagship brand, SKYY® Vodka, Skyy Spirits has grown exponentially, building a portfolio unrivaled in its quality, innovation and style, making it a top choice among distributors, retailers and consumers.  Skyy Spirits manages Gruppo Campari’s portfolio in the US of such leading brands as SKYY® Vodka, SKYY90®, SKYY InfusionsTM, Campari®, Wild Turkey® Straight Kentucky Bourbon, American Honey™, Russell’s Reserve®, Cabo Wabo® Tequila, Ouzo 12®, X-Rated® Fusion Liqueur® and Jean-Marc XO Vodka®.  Skyy Spirits is also the exclusive US distributor of Cutty Sark® Scotch Whisky, The Glenrothes® Single Malt Scotch Whisky, Bowmore® Islay Single Malt Scotch Whisky, Auchentoshan® Lowland Single Malt Scotch Whisky, Glen Garioch® Highland Single Malt Scotch Whisky, Flor de Caña® Rum, Carolans Irish Cream®, Tullamore Dew Irish Whiskey®, Irish Mist® Liqueur, Midori® Melon Liqueur, ZEN Green Tea Liqueur TM and The Yamazaki® Single Malt Whisky.

Skyy Spirits was founded and is headquartered in San Francisco, California.  More information on the company can be found at www.skyyspirits.com and www.camparigroup.com.  Please enjoy Skyy Spirits brands responsibly and in moderation.


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