News Release

  • (2019/1/10)

Suntory unveils its first-ever world blended whisky, Suntory World Whisky ‘Ao’

A new premium whisky featuring five renowned whisky regions

Tokyo, January 10, 2019 – Suntory Spirits Limited (Suntory Spirits) has unveiled its first-ever globally blended whisky, Suntory World Whisky ‘Ao’. This new whisky originates from Suntory Group’s own distilleries in five of the world’s most renowned whisky-regions; Japan, the United States, Scotland, Canada and Ireland, and will be available exclusively in Japan.

Suntory Group operates its own distilleries in all five renowned whisky-producing regions leveraging the expertise and collaborative spirit of its Beam Suntory business. Each distillery enjoys its own distinctive climate and origins, producing a unique taste. Suntory World Whisky ‘Ao’ is developed using original elements from these five regions, creating Suntory’s first globally blended whisky.

Fifth generation Suntory chief blender, Shinji Fukuyo, conducted a careful selection process based on Suntory’s globally recognised Monozukuri craftsmanship: a relentless pursuit of perfection, meticulous attention to detail and commitment to quality. Building on its longstanding Japanese whisky history, this innovative, multi-faceted, premium blended whisky showcases Suntory’s craftsmanship.

This new whisky is composed of liquid produced at a diverse range of distilleries creating an array of whiskies through several fermentation techniques, shapes and sizes of pot stills, and by using an assortment of casks. The variety in the production process allows for the abundance of blending opportunities that creates Suntory’s subtle, refined, yet complex taste aiming to deliver new value for our customers.

“We are very excited about the launch of this new whisky. Suntory World Whisky ‘Ao’ brings together the world’s most highly regarded whisky regions to produce this unique and premium quality blend,” said Sho Semba, Head of Suntory Spirits. “In recent years we’ve seen a huge increase in demand from customers across the world who want to experience Japanese whisky. We are confident that whisky enthusiasts will enjoy the unique flavor that is the result of this Japan-blended whisky, which originates from around the world.”

Chief blender Shinji Fukuyo commented “Ao is a single whisky which, through the art of Suntory blending, allows you to enjoy the unique characteristics of each of the five major whisky-making regions”

Suntory World Whisky ‘Ao’ is a unique addition to Suntory’s growing spirits portfolio. The Suntory whisky range includes Yamazaki and Hakushu, the pioneer of Japanese Single Malts, and Japan’s most highly awarded blended whisky, Hibiki.

Suntory World Whisky ‘Ao’ will be shipped from April 16, 2019, sold exclusively in Japan with limited availability.

Product Details

Tasting notes
A vivid, elegant, yet deep profile, with a sweetness that gently pervades with a pleasantly sharp finish.  

Bottle design
Ao is a reference to the beautiful color of the ocean (碧, Ao in Japanese), a tribute to the crossing of oceans and seas taking place as these whiskies of the world and Japanese craftsmanship meet. The bottle, is five-sided in honour of the five major whisky-making regions. The calligraphic lettering was written by Japanese calligrapher Tansetsu Ogino with an intent to represent the whiskies’ global origins and Japanese craftsmanship.  

RRP JPY5,000 (700ml), 43% ABV

Shipping Period
Suntory World Whisky ‘Ao’ will be available in two batches in 2019;
1.April 16 – Summer
2.Autumn – Winter

History of Suntory Whisky
Since 1923, Suntory has been renowned as the pioneer of Japanese whisky for its House of Master Blenders and for their Art of Blending. The founding father of Japanese whisky Shinjiro Torii, built Japan’s first malt whisky distillery in Yamazaki, and the Suntory legacy continued with Torii’s son, Keizo Saji, Suntory’s second master blender who continued to establish distilleries including the Hakushu distillery. As the generations of Suntory’s master blenders carry on, Suntory Whisky remains committed to heritage and innovation. The House of Suntory Whisky has been named four-time Distiller of the Year at the International Spirits Challenge in London, UK (2010, 2012, 2013, 2014).

About Suntory Group
Suntory Group is among the world's leading consumer products companies, with an annual revenue (excluding excise taxes) of $19.2 billion. We offer a uniquely diverse portfolio of beverage products enjoyed by millions around the world: from award-winning Japanese whiskies Yamazaki and Hibiki, The Premium Malt's beer, and iconic American spirits Jim Beam and Maker's Mark to non-alcoholic favorites Orangina, Lucozade, Ribena, TEA plus, BOSS coffee, Iyemon tea, and Suntory Tennensui water. Suntory also produces wellness products and operates a flower business. Founded as a family-owned business in 1899 in Osaka, Japan, Suntory Group has grown into a multi-national corporation, with operations throughout the Americas, Europe, Asia and Oceania. We are driven by Yatte Minahare - the spirit of bold ambition - and our 37,745 employees worldwide draw upon our unique blend of Japanese artisanship and global tastes to explore new product categories and markets. Suntory Group is committed to our founding promise to coexist with people and nature: protecting water resources, nurturing our communities and fostering the arts. Suntory believes we grow for good together when we stay true to ourselves and pursue the paths that nature intended. 

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