[Review] Essence of Suntory Whisky

THE ESSENCE of SUNTORY WHISKY is a series created from Suntory’s desire to pursue “Essence” in whisky making. 2020.This is the fourth release in the series.

1. Maker

Suntory Spirits Co.

Established 1899
Headquarters location 2-3-3 Daiba, Minato-ku, Tokyo 135-8631, Japan
Owned distillery ●Japan
Yamazaki Distillery, Hakushu Distillery, Chita Distillery
Ardmore distillery, Glengilly distillery, Auchentoshan distillery, Bowmore distillery, Laphroig distillery
Cooley distillery, Kilbeggan distillery
●United States
Jim Beam distillery, Maker’s Mark distillery
Hiram Walker Distillery, Alberta Distillery

2. Distillery

Suntory Chita Distillery

Location 16 Kitahamacho, Chita City, Aichi Prefecture, 478-0046, Japan
Start of operation 1973

The Chita Distillery, located on the Chita Peninsula overlooking Ise Bay, is a grain whiskey distillery established by the Suntory Group in collaboration with the Zen-Noh Group, and is one of the three domestic whiskey distilleries of the Suntory Group, along with the Yamazaki and Hakushu distilleries for malt whiskey. Here, corn-based grain whiskey has been supported. The Chita Distillery uses continuous distillation to produce three types of grain whiskey: clean, medium and heavy, which is unique in the world.

Image source: What is Suntory Whisky “Chita”?

For more information about Chita Distillery, please see this article.

3. Product name and photo

Essence of Suntory Whisky <Chita Distillery Sakura Cask Post-Ripening Blend>

4. Characteristics

Long-aged Chita grain stock aged in cherry barrels for over 3 years

Chita grain whiskey is a clean type Chita grain whiskey distilled in 2000, matured in white oak barrels for more than 15 years, and then matured in cherry barrels for more than 3 years. This single grain whiskey from the Chita Distillery is a blend of Chita grain whiskey that has been matured for 12 years, 21 years, or more, taking advantage of its flavor characteristics reminiscent of cherry blossom cake. The word “Shin” on the label represents Suntory’s strong will to take on new challenges.

4-1. Tasting Notes

Aroma Impressive aroma reminiscent of neat sakura mochi
Taste Lychee / White grape / Acacia honey
Aftertaste The aroma of cherry blossom cake lingers for a long time.

4-2. Product Specifications

Alcohol content 50% alcohol by volume
by alcohol Single grain whisky
Barrel type White oak barrels, cherry barrels
Contents 500ml
Number of bottles sold Limited quantity
Suggested retail price 11,000 yen (tax included)
Release date April 28, 2020

5. Awards

No awards have been received at this time.

6. Price

6-1. Manufacturer’s suggested retail price

Product name Essence of Suntory Whisky <Chita Distillery’s Cherry Blossom Barrel Post-Ripening Blend
Volume 500ml
Suggested Retail Price Tax included: 11,000 yen

6-2. Resale price on Mercari

The resale price on Mercari is around 23,000 yen to 39,000 yen. (*As of 3/26/2021)
The price is for the set with the Essence of Suntory Whiskey <Rice Whiskey> which was released at the same time.

6-3. Sold price on Yahoo Auction

The lowest bid price on Yahoo Auction was 14,600 yen, the highest was 18,000 yen, and the average was 16,185 yen(based on statistics for the past 120 days from 3/26/2021).

6-4. Rakuten, Yahoo Shopping, Amazon

Mail order sites sell them for around 20,000 yen to 30,000 yen. (*As of 3/26/2021)

6-5. Price offered at BAR SHINKAI

At BAR SHINKAI, which is operated by this website, one glass is offered for 45ml: 4,620 yen, 30ml: 3,080 yen, 15ml: 1,540 yen.

7. Summary

The recommended way to drink it is straight. It is easy to drink without feeling the 50% alcohol content. Please try to feel the matured aroma of the cherry barrel. This whiskey is sold in limited quantities, so it is very rare.

Please check out the other articles about Essence of Suntory.

Lastly: Recommended Books on Japanese Whisky

If you want to learn more about Japanese whisky, which is a global trend, we highly recommend these books.

(1).Whisky Galore Vol.29 December 2021 issue

In the December 2021 issue of Whisky Galore, published by the Whisky Culture Research Institute, we report on 11 Japanese craft distilleries, including some that are open to the public for the first time, under the title of “Japanese Whisky Craft Frontline,” the first of three consecutive issues. Why did the popularity of Japanese whiskey and the craft boom occur? We will examine with interviews. Chichibu Distillery / Chichibu No.2 Distillery / Mars Shinshu Distillery / Mars Tsunuki Distillery / Kanosuke Distillery / Hioki Distillery / Ontake Distillery / Osuzuyama Distillery / Kaikyo Distillery / Hanyu Distillery / Konosu Distillery

created by Rinker
(2023/06/08 20:06:01時点 Amazon調べ-詳細)

(2). Japanese Whisky as an Education for Business

This is a book written by Mamoru Tsuchiya, a world-famous whisky critic and representative of the Whisky Culture Research Institute, titled “Japanese Whisky as a Culture that Works for Business” .
The book covers the basics of whisky, the introduction of whisky to Japan, the birth of Japanese whisky, advertising strategies and the rise of Japanese whisky, and the current rise of craft distilleries. This is a book that summarizes Japanese whisky in a very easy to understand way.

(3). Whisky and I (Masataka Taketsuru)

Masataka Taketsuru, the founder of Nikka Whisky, devoted his life to brewing whisky in Japan. This is a revised and reprinted version of the autobiography of a man who simply loved whiskey and talked about himself. The book vividly depicts the days when he went to Scotland alone to study as a young man and overcame many hardships to complete Japanese whisky, as well as his companion, Rita.

created by Rinker
(2023/06/08 01:05:28時点 Amazon調べ-詳細)

(4). A Letter of Challenge from a New Generation Distillery

Launching in 2019. With the world experiencing an unprecedented whisky boom, what were the managers of craft distilleries thinking and what were their thoughts as they took on the challenge of making whiskey? This book tells the stories of 13 craft distillery owners, including Ichiro Hido of Venture Whisky, famous for his Ichirose Malt, who inspired the birth of craft distilleries in Japan.

created by Rinker
(2023/06/08 07:00:08時点 Amazon調べ-詳細)

(5). Whiskey Rising

This is the Japanese version of Whisky Risng, published in the US in 2016, with much updated content. Not only does it describe the history of Japanese whiskey in detail, but it also includes data on all the distilleries in Japan, including the craft distilleries that have been founded in recent years. The book also includes descriptions of the legendary bottles that have been released, as well as information on bars where Japanese whisky can be found.

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