Big big news early in the year from Suntory Spirits as they have just announced the new "THE ESSENCE of SUNTORY WHISKY" series. The first three bottles of the series are as follows, all dropping on February 27:
- THE ESSENCE Single Malt Whisky Yamazaki Distillery Peated Malt has sweet berry notes and acidity, and soft smoky aroma. It's aged for 12 years, bottled at 49% abv, and retails for 10,000 yen at 500ml
- THE ESSENCE Single Grain Whisky Hakushu Distillery Rye Type features a brilliant rye body and spicy aroma. Aged 4 years. This one is 57% abv, and goes for 5,000 yen at 500ml
- THE ESSENCE Single Grain Whisky Chita Distillery Wine Cask 4 Years Finish has a plum-like sweet and sour palette with a smooth mouthfeel and mellow aromas. Aged 16 years. It's 49% abv, and is 10,000 yen for 500ml.
Needless to say there's some very un-Suntory things going on here. For starters, Hakushu RYE whisky??? Next up, Chita with an age statement and cask finish?? All of them Cask Strength too??? Suntory also mentions these are just the first 3 entries of the new series, so we'll probably see even more too. Perhaps we'll see a very different and more adventurous Suntory in 2018 -- I'm open to it!