― Celebrating its 100th anniversary, the company aims to enhance quality craftmanship and elevate visitor experience ―
Tokyo, JAPAN (October 10,2023) - Suntory Spirits Ltd. will reopen its Yamazaki Distillery in the outskirts of Kyoto to public from Wednesday, November 1st, 2023.
This year, Suntory celebrates the 100th anniversary of whisky making which began at Yamazaki by Shinjiro Torii, the founder of Suntory. Since its journey from 1923, the company has been pioneering the art of Japanese Whisky by crafting with relentless pursuit of perfection; striving to cultivate whisky drinking culture and produce the highest quality spirits. To further to enhance quality craftsmanship and elevate visitor experience, renovations are under way through 2024 at both Yamazaki and Hakushu Distilleries. (News Release No.14314).
The Yamazaki Distillery has been renovated to a place where visitors can furthermore experience the delicate whisky making embodied by the Japanese nature and climate, and created by Japanese spirits craftsmanship, which is the core attraction of the distillery.
Yamazaki Distillery started its construction in 1923 as the first malt whisky distillery in Japan. Located on the outskirts of Kyoto, Yamazaki lies at the foot of Mt. Tenno surrounded by the rich nature throughout the four seasons of the year. Yamazaki’s water was so pristine that it appears in “Man'yōshū”, an anthology of ancient Japanese poems. As Yamazaki is where the three rivers of Katsura, Uji and Kizu meet, it creates a damp climate ideal for whisky maturation, and by utilizing different washbacks, pot stills and casks, the company has constantly been making wide varieties of whiskies that can only be produced in Japan.
As the distillery that embodies the relentless pursuit of quality and the desire to create a genuine whisky inherited from the founder Shinjiro Torii, the company has kept on renovating and renewing production facilities along with developing new technologies and creating diverse new make spirits at the pilot distillery* to future enhance its quality craftmanship. This renewal will offer new exhibitions and distillery tours for visitors to further experience this distinctive and captivating distillery.
*A small scale distilling facility in Yamazaki Distillery for quality research and development.
〈About the renewed facilities〉
As a renewed distillery marking its 100th anniversary, the site, including the entrance, has been transformed into a "forest” in harmony with nature by planting trees that grow in the surrounding mountain forests of Shimamoto-town and Oyamazaki-town near Yamazaki Distillery. Visitors can walk through the entrance gate made of reused copper from pot stills and feel the unique atmosphere of the "forest" of Yamazaki, while enjoying the entrance at the Whisky Museum where the new reception has been set up for distillery visits and tours.
▼The Yamazaki Whisky Museum
<Exhibitions in the Museum>
The Yamazaki Whisky Museum has remained on the grounds of the Yamazaki Distillery since its establishment. The interior of this historic building has been enhanced to emphasize the inheritance and innovation of Suntory's whisky making at the Yamazaki Distillery that date back to the founder Shinjiro Torii, and showcases the craftmanship of creating diverse new make spirits that can endure long-term aging. The company also aimed to create an exhibit that would give visitors a sense of the attention to detail that goes into its craftsmanship, to foster expectations for the quality of Suntory Whisky in the future.
We have reopened a special tasting lounge where visitors can enjoy each Suntory Whisky brands, including “Suntory Single Malt Whisky Yamazaki” brand, as well as component whiskies only available at this location, in a place surrounded by a variety of original matured whisky bottles produced at the Yamazaki distillery. With a bar counter which reuses the pot stills that were used at the site, a standing table facing the matured whisky bottles, and low back chairs where you can see the “forest” of Yamazaki sprawling beyond the windows, it will provide a one and only special Suntory Whisky experience to many visitors from those who are familiar with whisky to those who are new to the whisky world.
〈About the new distillery tours〉*
▼Yamazaki distillery MONOZUKURI tour & tasting
●Participation fee:3,000 JPY (tax included)
This tour will walk the visitors through the distillery where “Suntory Single Malt Whisky Yamazaki” brand is made, for a distinctive and sensory experience of the aroma and atmosphere that can only be felt at the site. The tasting will include "Single Malt Whisky Yamazaki", rare component malt whiskies and Yamazaki Highball, with an original Yamazaki tasting glass as a souvenir to take home.
▼Yamazaki distillery MONOZUKURI tour ＆ tasting Prestige Experience
●Participation fee:10,000 JPY (tax included)
This tour will walk the visitors through the distillery where “Suntory Single Malt Whisky Yamazaki” brand is made, for a distinctive and sensory experience of the aroma and atmosphere that can only be felt at the site. This prestige tour will take visitors exclusively to limited manufacturing areas, along with a tour to see the craftsmen actually working on whisky making, leading visitors to have a deep experience of the perfection to craftmanship at the Yamazaki Distillery. The tasting will include “Suntory Single Malt Whisky Yamazaki 12 Years Old” and rare component malt whiskies for the visitors to enjoy.
*No one under 20 years old can participate in the tour. Drinking and driving and drinking before the age of 20 is prohibited by the law. Drivers of automobiles, motorcycles (including passengers), or bicycles are not able to drink alcohol.
▼Suntory Yamazaki Distillery website
About Suntory Group
As a global leader in the beverage industry, Suntory Group offers a uniquely diverse portfolio of products, from premium spirits, beer, wine, ready-to-drink alcohol beverages, to brewed teas, bottled water, still and carbonated soft drinks, ready-to-drink coffee and energy drinks, along with health and wellness products. Suntory is home to award-winning Japanese whiskies Yamazaki, Hibiki and Hakushu, as well as iconic American spirits Jim Beam and Maker's Mark. Suntory also fascinates the taste buds with The Premium Malt's beer, and owns the exceptional Japanese wine, Tomi, and the world-famous Château Lagrange. Its brand collection includes Sauza Tequila, non-alcoholic favorites Orangina, Lucozade, Ribena, BOSS coffee, Iyemon green tea, Suntory Tennensui water, TEA+ Oolong Tea, V and BRAND’S, as well as popular health and wellness product Sesamin EX.
Founded as a family-owned business in 1899 in Osaka, Japan, Suntory Group has grown into a global company operating throughout the Americas, Europe, Africa, Asia and Oceania, with an annual revenue (excluding excise taxes) of $20.2 billion in 2022. Its 40,885 employees worldwide draw upon the unique blend of Japanese artisanship and global tastes to explore new product categories and markets.
As a corporation sustained by the gifts of nature and water, Suntory Group will always protect the ecosystems that deliver water. Because its ecosystem is the wellspring, not only of its business and the rich experiences the group creates for people's lives, but also of human life itself. Suntory Group will continue to be a company where everyone is empowered with the freedom and flexibility to innovate. Through all of its corporate pursuits, Suntory seeks to inspire the brilliance of life.