A Dram From Japan – Whisky Shop W. Yamazaki WSO-007

Before anyone gets too excited, this isn’t a James Bond release under the 007 code name, even though we strongly believe that all the great Bonds, from Sean Connery to Daniel Craig, would enjoy a dram of this exceptional whisky.

With that explanation out of the way, we’re pleased to present a brand new series here on Dekanta, under the name “Dram From Japan”, which will feature exceptional, often unknown, Japanese whisky releases. The drams we’ll be presenting are very limited, rare, and highly sought-after; most of which can only be acquired in Japan or through us.

Anyone who follows our blog and news should know that we’re all about whisky education, and this series is just another step towards given our readers and customers as much knowledge a possible on the phenomenal whiskies produced in Japan.

Today’s pick is the Yamazaki WSO-007 which was once only available in Suntory’s Whisky Shop in Osaka. Note the use of past tense in the sentence above, and read on to find out why it isn’t attainable anymore.

 

Whisky Shop W.

Located in a very central area in the Japanese city of Osaka, Suntory’s Whisky Shop W. was once a haven to any Japanese whisky lover visiting the cool, edgy city in Kansai.

Osaka is renowned in Japan, and globally, for its huge eating and drinking culture, and the Whisky Shop W. fit right into it. The perfect day in Osaka would start off with some local specialities, like takoyaki, okonomiyaki, or kushikatsu, to name a few.

A long walk around the bursting city will help you burn off those calories, and finally, you would reach the amazing Whisky Shop W., a true haven of Suntory lovers. The shop’s displays would tell you everything one needs to know about Suntory and its history in whisky making.

The highlight of the shop, however, was the availability of the entire Suntory line-up, including all the limited releases, like the Heavily Peated Yamazaki, and the bar-trade only, Deep Harmony Hibiki.

The best part of the experience though was the special releases sold only at the Whisky Shop W., in the form of smaller 300ml bottles by Yamazaki and Hakushu. There was always something new and exciting available, which kept guests coming back for more.Those who didn’t want a full bottle, could stroll over to the on-site bar, and try any Suntory whisky they felt like.

Unfortunately, the Whisky Shop W. shut down a few years ago, so best don’t go looking for it! Sadly, with the depleting stock, Suntory couldn’t keep this bottle shop open, and now only the Suntory Whisky house, and restaurant are operational.

Don’t be sad, some of the amazing W. releases remain.

Yamazaki WSO-007

This Yamazaki WSO-007 single malt was one of the last private Whisky Shop W. bottlings, bottled in late 2014.

True to the Yamazaki, this expression features all the smoothness and elegance one would expect from the great distillery. The malt used was dried at a slightly higher temperature than usual, giving the whisky a unique touch of freshness.

Fluid and smooth, with notes of brown biscuit and maple syrup, this 48 per cent ABV release will have you banging on the base of the small, elegant bottle like you would a ketchup bottle, wondering when you and your friends drank it all up.

The dram is no longer available for sale since the shop shut down, however, we still have a bottle or two available, for the true fans of Suntory. If you’re ever in Osaka make sure to visit the Suntory Whisky House, the Suntory bar and the fine dining restaurant for an unforgettable experience.

And on the way, enjoy a dram of the WSO-007 whisky, and warm up for what’s to come!