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Tuesday 26 October 2021

Would you pay $78,000 for this special bottle of whisky?

You'd need to be a very keen whisky fan - and probably the holder of a black American Express card - to be tempted by a new release from The House of Suntory.

The Japanese distiller has just introduced a tiny quantity of limited-edition Yamazaki 55 whisky to Global Travel Retail, available at a recommended retail price of $US60,000 - tfat’s $78,000 for Australians. 

Bottled in 2020, Yamazaki 55 is the House of Suntory's oldest release in its history and pays tribute to the founding family of Japanese whisky.

Yamazaki 55 will be available to select Global Travel Retail outlets with bottles to be found in London, Paris, Hainan, Hong Kong, Taipei, Amsterdam, Seoul, Delhi, Istanbul, Dubai and Singapore.

Beam Suntory will donate $5,000 for every bottle released in this year's 100-bottle collection to The White Oak Initiative, a group committed to the long-term sustainability of America's white oak forests.

Yamazaki 55 is a blend of single malts, featuring components distilled in 1960 under the supervision of Suntory's founder Shinjiro Torii and then aged in Mizunara casks; and in 1964 under the direction of Suntory's second Master Blender Keizo Saji and then aged in White Oak casks.

Suntory's fifth-generation chief blender Shinji Fukuyo worked closely with third-generation Master Blender Shingo Torii to create Yamazaki 55.

The resulting liquid "features a deep amber colour; robust aroma redolent of sandal wood and well-ripened fruit; sweet, slightly bitter and woody palate; and slightly bitter yet sweet and rich finish" - says the press release. My sample obviously got lost in the post.

Manuel González, marketing director Beam Suntory, said: "We are extremely proud to have the opportunity to offer travellers something as unique and exclusive as Yamazaki 55, the oldest-aged expression from the House of Suntory.

"This highly limited-edition product will be showcased in some of our best House of Suntory locations, and it will be amplified by an integrated activation campaign. We are committed to growing Global Travel Retail by reinforcing our innovative offering and bringing the best premium shopper experience to life for our customers."

'Yamazaki' is engraved in calligraphy on each crystal bottle, while the age marking is accentuated with gold dust and protected with lacquer. The bottle's opening is wrapped in handmade Echizen washi paper and bound by with a Kyo-kumihimo plaited cord, a traditional craft from Kyoto.

Each bottle is enclosed in a bespoke box made from Japanese Mizunara wood and coated with Suruga lacquer.

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