As connoisseurs tell it, certain spirits get even better as it ages. Therefore, leading distillers can only offer their best batches in limited quantities. While there are some others who prefer the diverse experience from blended scotch, folks with more discerning tastes swear by single malt only. Still, the release of the Yamazaki 55 is wonderful news for everyone.

This marks a major milestone for fans of Japanese whiskeys as Suntory debuts its oldest single malt ever. This means acquiring one will be very difficult, but you can check with your local suppliers. According to the distiller, the Yamazaki 55 is a “tribute to the passage of time” and we’ll tell you why.

The journey begins in 1960 when the amber spirit was aged in Mizunara casks under the watchful eye of founder Shinjiro Torii. Then, in 1964, the contents made their way into white oak casks. Given that when it comes to whiskey, age statements matter, which is why 55 years here is such a big deal. 

Suntory’s Fifth-generation Chief Blender Shinji Fukuyo and Third-generation Master Blender Shingo Torii are credited for carefully curating this blend. In contrast to Scotch whiskeys, which he likens to perfect Greek sculptures, Fukuyo goes on to describe the Yamazaki 55 as “more like an old Buddhist statue. Calm and mysterious.”

A whiskey this sophisticated deserves to ship in an equally intricate packaging. So Suntory commissions master craftsmen to build a Japanese Mizunara wood box. Finishing it with black lacquer, you’ll be proudly displaying this alongside the Yamazaki 55 it’s holding within. Take a sip, you deserve it.

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Images courtesy of Suntory