This year, the Yamazaki Distillery celebrates its 100th anniversary. As a whiskey blogger, I am thrilled to celebrate this milestone with one of my favourite whiskies in the world: Yamazaki 12 Year Single Malt.
I first tried Yamazaki 12 and Yamazaki 18 on my honeymoon in Kyoto, Japan. My wife and I were at a small izakaya, and a group of American businessmen rocked in from a business meeting. Must have been a good meeting as they decided to buy a round of Yamazaki 12 Single Malt. After the first round, they decided that they haven't spent enough and proceeded to buy a round of Yamazaki 18, we were more than happy to oblige and cheers to their success. I was immediately hooked by its complex and unique flavour profile.
Yamazaki is Suntory's flagship single malt whisky, from Japan's first and oldest malt distillery. This 12 year old first came onto the market in 1984 and was the first seriously marketed Japanese single malt whisky. Since then, it has acquired something of a cult following, and for good reason!
On the nose, Yamazaki 12 is full of fruity aromas, such as peach, apricot, and banana. There are also notes of honey, vanilla, and oak. On the palate, the whisky is smooth and silky, with flavours of fruit, spice, and oak. The finish is long and lingering, with a hint of sweetness.
A Brief History of the Yamazaki Distillery
The Yamazaki Distillery was founded in 1923 by Shinjiro Torii, the founder of Suntory. Torii was a visionary who believed that Japan could produce world-class whisky. He built the Yamazaki Distillery in the Kyoto Valley, which is known for its pure water and cool climate.
Yamazaki was the first commercial whisky distillery in Japan. Torii was determined to produce whisky that would rival the best whiskies from Scotland. He sent his master blender, Masataka Taketsuru, to Scotland to learn about whisky production. Taketsuru returned to Japan with a deep understanding of Scottish whisky, and he helped Torii to create Yamazaki 12 Year Single Malt.
Yamazaki 12 was first released in 1984. It quickly became one of the most popular whiskies in Japan. In 2003, Yamazaki 12 won the gold medal at the World Whiskies Awards. This award helped to put Yamazaki 12 on the global stage.
Today, Yamazaki 12 is one of the most sought-after whiskies in the world. It is a testament to the quality and craftsmanship of Japanese whisky. Yamazaki 12 Year Single Malt is a truly special whisky. It is a complex and flavourful whisky that is sure to impress any whisky lover. If you have never tried Yamazaki 12, I highly recommend giving it a try. You won't be disappointed!