In recent years, new Suntory releases have been extremely hard to come by, often limited to the annual Essence of Suntory bottlings alongside a zodiac bottling or two. However, 2021 has been a great year for fans of the drinks giant, and indeed Japanese whisky in general. So far, we have been treated to the new Essence of Suntory, the brand new Hibiki Blossom Harmony and, of course, the incredible return of the Yamazaki Limited Edition series with the long-awaited 2021 bottling.
Now, we are delighted to say that Suntory are releasing another two limited edition expressions, just in time for Christmas. Both of these bottlings are adaptations of classic Suntory bottlings that have lasted the test of time and are known for their consistent excellence. So, without further ado, let’s take a look.
Suntory Old was first produced in Japan in the 1940s, at a time when blended whisky was all the rage and the single malt category was yet to develop into what it is today. Fine blends were seen as the pinnacle of the whisky world at this time, in both Japan and Scotland, with the best Master Blenders being akin to today’s Michelin Star Chefs, pulling the very best ingredients and putting them together in a way that amazed those lucky enough to get a taste.
From the moment Suntory Old was created, until around the 1980s when the single malt category began to grow, it was the premier whisky inside of Japan and it steadily grew in popularity throughout the years. It was cherished for it’s smooth, soft and moreish drinking experience that delivered a range of unique flavours and spices on the nose and palate.
Once the single malt category came to prominence, Suntory Old became less and less desirable, as people clambered to get their hands on unique whisky from one of the exciting distilleries popping up around Japan.
However, not everyone stopped drinking Suntory Old. By this point it had built up a strong following and while some were keen to explore the expanding whisky landscape inside of Japan, many remained loyal to this beautiful, elegant blended expression, thus helping it to survive.
Fortunately, today we have a much deeper understanding of whisky and as such, blends and single malts are both given the appreciation they deserve in equal measure. It is true that many people believe that single malts are the only way forward, but for every person that believes that, there is a lover of expertly blended whiskies.
This brand new Suntory Old Limited Edition 2022 brings everything that made the blend popular all those years ago and builds on it with uniqueness and collectibility.
The whisky inside is as smooth as it has ever been, delivering a fabulous, light drinking experience that keeps you coming back for more. Poached pears, summer fruits and dried berries mingle perfectly with nutmeg and cinnamon spice, all the while soft, buttery vanilla builds in the background. It’s a fantastic flavour profile and one that has been worked on and mastered over half a century.
This Limited Edition bottling is being released to celebrate the Zodiac animal for 2022 – The majestic Tiger and it comes with an elegantly designed label depicting the marvelous creature in all its glory.
Much like Suntory Old, Suntory Royal is a delightful blended expression that has lasted the test of time. It was initially created in the 1960s, at a time when Yamazaki was the only active distillery in Suntory’s portfolio.
At that time, the Master Blenders making this expression distilled grain whisky, for use in the blend, at their lesser known Usuki Factory in Oita, however once Chita was built, the grain for Suntory Royal was produced there, and once Hakushu was built, some of their malt also made it into the expression.
This led to the recipe for this premium blended whisky to be changed several times, but as far as we are concerned, it was always for the better.
The first bottling of Suntory Royal was created to celebrate the drinks giant’s 60th anniversary, and it was billed as a more premium blend than the Suntory Old, and it commanded a slightly higher price point to boot. At the time, and indeed for many years to come, this blend would have been the drink of choice for members of Japan’s high society and elite.
Since then, Suntory have continued to produce and release Suntory Royal, however nowadays it is also enjoyed by millions of whisky lovers, like you and me, around the world.
Much like the Suntory Old, the new Suntory Royal Limited Edition that we are highlighting today was created to celebrate the tiger – the zodiac animal for 2022. However, unlike the Suntory Old, it’s not just the label that honours the big cat. The bottle for this one is in fact in the shape of an elegant, yet fierce tiger, making it stand apart in any drinks cabinet.
Of course, the whisky inside is of the same quality as we have come to expect from the whisky producer and the stunning bottle design serves to add to the experience.
Pre-Order Online Today
To ensure you get your hands on these limited edition versions of tried and tested Suntory classics, all you have to do is pre-order online today and we’ll deliver direct to your door. Shipping begins third week of December 2021.