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News Release

News Release

No.11805   June 11, 2013

Suntory Whiskies
Hibiki, Yamazaki, and Hakushu Brands Take Total of Nine Gold Medals
at the International Spirits Challenge 2013
Eleven Years of Winning with Suntory Whisky


Nine whiskies from Suntory Liquors won prizes at the eighteenth International Spirits Challenge 2013, the worldwide liquor competition held in the UK. The winning blended whiskies were Hibiki21 Years Old, 17 Years Old and 12 Years Old, and the winning single malt whiskies were Yamazaki 18 Years Old, Puncheon 2012, Mizunara 2012 as well as Hakushu 25 Years Old, 18 Years Old and Heavily Peated 2012.

At this year's competition, we received the honor of having nine of our brands win a gold medal in the Whiskies – Whiskies Worldwide category (whiskies other than Scotch). Since first being awarded a gold medal from the International Spirits Challenge in 2003 for Yamazaki 12 Years Old, Suntory's whiskies have taken medals at the competition eleven years running, a fact that Suntory views as a meaningful testament to the ever-rising evaluation of its whiskies.

About the International Spirits Challenge

The International Spirits Challenge is a competition held every year in the UK, the home of real Scotch whisky. In the whisky division, medals are awarded by based on the unanimous approval of discussions by the team of nine tasters, all of whom are blenders, distillery managers and other industry professionals, and who perform sensory inspections on each of the roughly 400 whiskies submitted from around the world. The competition is seen as an authoritative arena for judging the quality of the entries by the exquisite sensory skills of the panel of whisky-making professionals.

The Award-Winning Whiskies

Suntory Whisky: Hibiki 21 Years Old
This whisky is a blend of painstakingly selected ripe grain malts aged over 21 years and a key Yamazaki sherry cask malt. With a fragrance of sweet dried fruit and a spicy flavor, it is characterized by a solemn, refined richness and profound, lingering echoes.
Suntory Whisky: Hibiki 17 Years Old
This whisky is blended using carefully selected malts aged over 17 years, and ripe grain malts of the same age. With a gorgeously sweet fruit fragrance and a cask aroma like milk caramels, this whisky stands out for its weighty and mellow richness.
Suntory Whisky: Hibiki 12 Years Old
This whisky is blended using painstakingly selected malts aged over 12 years, and multiple types of ripe grain malts of the same age. We use plum liqueur cask malts aged in casks for storing plum liqueur to further bring out the gorgeously sweet fragrance that distinguishes Suntory whiskies.
Suntory Single Malt Whisky: Yamazaki 18 Years Old
This single malt whisky comes from malts 18 years or older, vatted primarily in sherry casks. With an impressionable fragrance of sweet dried fruit and a fragrant aroma, it is characterized by a mature flavor with complexity and depth.
Suntory Single Malt Whisky: Yamazaki Puncheon 2012
This whisky is made by vatting only carefully select malts aged in puncheon casks crafted from North American white oak. With a gold, transparent hue, it has an impressionable, gorgeously rich cask aroma of white oak reminiscent of sweet vanilla.
Suntory Single Malt Whisky: Yamazaki Mizunara 2012
A part of any discussion about Suntory whiskies, this brand comes purely from carefully selected rare malts vatted in casks of Japanese mizunara wood. With a reddish amber hue, it is characterized by an oriental smell and taste of sandalwood and aloes-wood.
Suntory Single Malt Whisky: Hakushu 25 Years Old
This well mellow whisky has been patiently crafted from a lovingly chosen array of creamy yet powerful malts, smoky peat-dried malts and sherry cask malts with voluptuous fruit aromas, all from a stock of rare malts aged over 25 years.
Suntory Single Malt Whisky: Hakushu 18 Years Old
Left fresh and untouched, Hakushu malts aged 18 years or longer are characterized by a gorgeous and deep aroma reminiscent of ripened fruits as only a well-aged malt can be. With a brilliant harmony of complex richness and sweet cask aroma, the delicately smoky scent characteristic of the Hakushu brand echoes pleasantly through you.
Suntory Single Malt Whisky: Hakushu Heavily Peated 2012
For this whisky we exclusively use smoky malts from those used to create the flavor of the Hakushu brand. With an impressionably delicate yet sweet smoky aroma, once it enters your mouth it creates smoky, long-lasting echoes in a harmony of gentle fragrance and soft sweetness.