News Release

  • Reference Material(2016/3/18)

The former Chief Blender of Suntory Whisky Koichi Inatomi has been inducted into Hall of Fame

The Second Japanese in Whisky Magazine “Hall of Fame”

Koichi Inatomi, former Chief Blender of Suntory Whisky (former Director of Suntory Limited) has been inducted into the Whisky Magazine “Hall of Fame”, becoming only the second Japanese member of the Hall of Fame. The induction ceremony was held together with the awards ceremony for the World Whiskies Awards 2016 (also hosted by the magazine) in London, England on Thursday, March 17.

The "Hall of Fame" is a prestigious award from Paragraph Publishing Ltd's Whisky Magazine, and is presented to individuals who have made a significant contribution to the world of whisky over many years. Winners have been announced every year since 2004.

The host awarded trophy to Inatomi with commenting “I have known Dr Inatomi - or 'Tomi' as we know him - for over 20 years. Japan stands tall in the world of whisky, and he has genuinely changed the industry he works within. The results of his work have laid the foundations for the reputation of Suntory whisky and, as an honorary researcher at Glasgow University, he continues to live, breathe and shape the world of whisky today.” Inatomi expressed his joy and pride at receiving the award, commenting “The very honorable award of induction of me into the Whisky Magazine ‘Hall of Fame’ this time is totally unexpected joy and would like to say many thanks to all the people who supported me throughout my life long whisky career. My special thanks are directed to the people including scientists, producers, journalists, distributers and bartenders for their kind yet hard comments and advices. Without the kindness of these people the road of Japanese whisky would have been much harder.”

●Koichi Inatomi – Brief Personal History
Born in 1936. Joined Kotobukiya Limited (now Suntory Holdings Limited) in 1959. His career took him through the Whisky production, Technology Development Department and Research Laboratories of Distilled Spirits and Liqueurs etc., becoming the Chief Blender in 1982. He played a leading role in developing well-known products such as Hibiki blended whiskies, Yamazaki and Hakushu single malt whiskies. He retired in 2000.

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