Suntory Yamazaki Distillery (山崎蒸溜所)
Suntory Yamazaki Distillery is Suntory's whisky distillery located at 5-2-1, Yamazaki, Shimamoto-cho, Mishima-gun, Osaka Prefecture. The distillery produces 'Yamazaki,' the company's major brand of single malt whisky. It also creates Yamazaki cask strength whiskies that are available either on site or from the Internet shop.
Suntory Liquor Ltd. explains that Yamazaki is the location of an excellent water source called 'Minaseno.'
At Yamazaki, Kotobukiya Ltd. (the present Suntory Liquor Ltd.) opened a distillery as Japan's first malt whisky distillery in 1923. Shinjiro TORII, the founder and then president of Kotobukiya, Ltd. planned to open the distillery to produce real whisky. In 1923 he appointed Masataka TAKETSURU who studied whisky production in Scotland, the home of Scotch whisky as the director of the Yamazaki distillery. In 1929 during the time of Taketsuru, the distillery produced and shipped 'Shirofuda' (White Label) which was the first whisky made in Japan (Japanese whisky). Later Taketsuru left the company as he had a different vision from Torii. He founded Dainipponkaju Co., Ltd (later The Nikka Whisky Distilling, Co., Ltd.) in Yoichimachi, Hokkaido.
The distillery has six wash stills and six sprit stills, each of which is shaped differently. It mainly uses a Dunnage warehouse for maturation and employs several different casks such as barrels and hogsheads. Different malt whiskies are produced.
Yamazaki,' single malt whiskey. Launched in 1984.
Yamazaki 10 Years Old
Yamazaki 12 Years Old
This won the Gold Award at the 2003 International Spirits Challenge (ISC).
Yamazaki 18 Years Old
This won the Trophy at the 2005 SWSC and a Gold Award at the 2007 ISC.
Yamazaki 25 Years Old
Yamazaki 35 Years Old
Yamazaki 50 Years Old
Visits and Opening Hours
The distillery organizes guided tours as requested. The visitors can observe the production process from malting and fermentation to distillation and maturation. After the tour is over, visitors are invited to sample whisky (Yamazaki 12 Years Old) with the exception of the drivers and minors. Mainly on Saturdays and Sundays, the distillery holds seminars on single malt whisky's knowhow and charms.
Yamazaki Whisky Museum' on the distillery's premises exhibits 7000 bottles of whisky, pot stills, and fermenters. The museum has a factory shop that sells 'Yamazaki' whiskies and related goods.