[Review] Essence of Suntory whisky

Whisky Review
Whisky Review

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 location2-3-3 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

Osumi Sake Brewery Co.

Address 860-1 Sakamoto, Osumi-cho, Soo-shi, Kagoshima 899-8422, Japan
Start of operation June 2005

Osumi Shuzo (Kagoshima) started operations in June 2005, and became a Suntory Group company in September

2014. Its main product is sweetpotato shochu. Its flagship brand of authentic sweetpotato syochu liqueur, “Osumi,” is made from fresh golden sweetpotato produced in Kagoshima Prefecture and brewed with pure water refined from the vast Shirasu earth. It is a mild and easy to drink sweetpotato syochu liqueur with the full sweetness and softness of Satsuma-imo. Based on traditional methods, we are constantly innovating to create a new taste. One of the things we are most particular about is making things that only people can make. We carefully sort the raw materials, one by one, and visually check the progress of the distillation process.

3. Product name and photo

Essence of Sun tory Whisky <Rice Whisky >

4. Characteristics

Aged for over 3 years in white oak barrels

This is a rice whisky distilled by Osumi Shuzo, a Suntory Group company that mainly produces B-type shochu. Aged for more than three years in white oak barrels, this whisky has a plump, light top note with a fruitiness faintly reminiscent of white peaches, and a soft, light flavor. The word “new” on the label expresses Suntory’s strong will to take on new challenges.

4-1. Tasting Notes

NosePlump and light top note. Faint white peach fruit notes.
TasteSoft and light mouthfeel. Gorgeous flavor spread.
AftertasteClean. Slightly spicy.

4-2. Product Specifications

Alcohol content56% alcohol by volume
by alcoholRice whisky
Barrel alcoholWhite oak barrels
Number of bottles soldLimited quantity
Suggested retail price5,500 yen (tax included)
Release dateApril 28, 2020

5. Award history

No awards have been received at this time.

6. Price

6-1. Manufacturer’s suggested retail price

Product nameEssence of Suntory whisky (Rice whisky)
Suggested retail priceTax included: 5,500 yen

6-2. Resale price on Mercari

The resale price on Mercari is around 10,000 yen. (*as of March 29, 2021)
The price is almost double the regular price.

6-3. Yahoo Auction Sold Price

The lowest bid price on Yahoo Auction was 9,250 yen, the highest was 14,500 yen, and the average was 10,827 yen (*Statistics for the past 120 days from March 29, 2021).
Like Mercari, this item is also being sold at almost double the regular price.

6-4. Rakuten, Yahoo Shopping, Amazon

You can find them on mail order sites for around 15,000 yen to 20,000 yen. (*As of March 29, 2021)

6-5. Price offered at BAR SHINKAI

At BAR SHINKAI, which is operated by this website, one drink is offered at the following prices: 45ml: 2,310 yen, 30ml: 1,540 yen, 15ml: 770 yen.


7. Summary

The recommended way to drink it is straight. This is a very rare whisky because it is sold in limited quantities. You might want to drink it as soon as possible!

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 whisky 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

(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 whisky 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.

(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 whisky? 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.

(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 whisky 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.

新海 博之

Born July 17, 1981 in Kitahiroshima City, Hokkaido, Japan
After graduating from university, joined NTT Data Customer Service Corporation as a new graduate.
2010: Opened "Azabujuban BAR Shinkai" → 2016: Developed specialty "Yakuzen Curry" → 2018: Opened "Toranomon BAR Shinkai" and in 2019 "Shibadaimon BAR Shinkai" → 2020: Started web media "Japanese Whisky Dictionary".
We will daily communicate the appeal of Japanese whiskey as something we, as bartenders, can do.

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Japanese Whisky Dictionary