“Yamazaki Aged 25 Years” and “Hibiki 30 Years Old” won at the International Spirits Challenge 2023. Other GOLD and above award-winning products are also introduced.

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Yamazaki DistilleryHakushu DistilleryYoichi DistilleryMiyagikyo DistilleryFujigotenba DistilleryChichibu Distillery (Ichiro's Malt)Shinshu DistilleryAkkeshi DistilleryKanosuke DistillerySaburomaru DistilleryAsaka DistilleryEigashima Distillery

“Yamazaki Aged 25 Years” won the “Supreme Champion Spirit” award, the highest award in all categories, at the “ISC”, the world’s leading liquor competition, for the first time. Also won many other awards for Japanese whisky.

At the “International Spirits Challenge 2023 (ISC)”, a global liquor competition held in the United Kingdom (London) on September 12, 2023, Suntory’s “Yamazaki Aged 25 Years” and “Hibiki 30 Years Old” won the “Trophy”, the highest award in the Japanese whisky category.

Furthermore, “Yamazaki Aged 25 Years” was chosen out of approximately 2,300 products in all categories entered in the ISC to receive the “Supreme Champion Spirit,” which is awarded only to the single most outstanding product from all “trophies” in all categories, and thus achieved the feat of being at the top of the ISC in 2023.

This is the second time for Suntory to win the world’s highest award, having previously received the “Supreme Champion Spirit” award for “Hibiki 21 Years Old” at the 2017 ISC.

Other Japanese whiskies awarded “Gold” or higher are listed below by category.

スポンサーリンク

1. Single malt, no age statement

Single malt No Age Statement

1-1. Double Gold Awards

One single malt without age statement (non-vintage) was awarded double gold.

Yoichi Single Malt Woody & Vanilla (The Nikka Whisky Distilling Co., Ltd.)

Yoichi Single Malt Woody & Vanillic (The Nikka Whisky Distilling Co., Ltd.)

Woody & Vanilla won Gold from the Yoichi Distillery Limited Series.

https://en.jpwhisky.net/4547-4547/

1-2. Gold Award

Gold award winners are 13 products

Kirin Single Malt Japanese Whisky Fuji (Kirin Brewery Company, Limited)

KIRIN Single Malt Japanese Whisky FUJI (Kirin Brewery Company, Limited)

A single malt released by Kirin this year won an early gold award.

https://en.jpwhisky.net/2023/05/17/single_malt_fuji-2/

Kirin Single Malt Japanese Whisky Fuji 50th Anniversary Edition(Kirin Brewery Company, Limited)

KIRIN Single Malt Japanese Whisky FUJI 50th Anniversary Edition (Kirin Brewery Company, Limited)

It is made from a selection of original whisky distilled in 1973, the year Kirin Fuji Gotemba Distillery began operations, as well as the 1970s, 1980s, 1990s, 2000s, and 2010s generations.

Miyagikyo Single Malt Aromatic Yeast (The Nikka Whisky Distilling Co., Ltd.)

Miyagikyo Single Malt Aromatic Yeast (The Nikka Whisky Distilling Co., Ltd.)

The 2022 version of Nikka Whisky’s Discovery Series focuses on the distinctive aroma produced by the different yeasts used in the fermentation process.

https://en.jpwhisky.net/2022/10/06/miyagikyo_aromaticyeast-2/

Miyagikyo Single Malt Fruity & Rich (The Nikka Whisky Distilling Co., Ltd.)

Miyagikyo Single Malt Fruity & Rich (The Nikka Whisky Distilling Co., Ltd.)

Fruity & Rich won an award from the Miyagikyo Distillery Limited Series.

Single Malt Kanosuke (KOMASA KANOSUKE DISTILLERY Co., Ltd.)

Single Malt Kanosuke (KOMASA KANOSUKE DISTILLERY Co., Ltd.)

Single Malt Kanosuke was released as the standard single malt of the Kanosuke Distillery.

https://en.jpwhisky.net/2023/01/20/singlemalt_kanosuke-2/

Single Malt Komagatake 2022 Edition (Hombo Shuzo Co., Ltd.)

Single Malt Komagatake 2022 Edition (Hombo Shuzo Co., Ltd.)

The 2022 model of Single Malt Komagatake is released once a year.

https://en.jpwhisky.net/2022/09/26/komagatake_2022_edition-2/

Single Malt Whisky Eigashima Sextet (Eigashima Shuzo CO., LTD.)

Single Malt Whisky Eigashima Sextet (Eigashima Shuzo CO., LTD.)

Complex and beautiful flavor created by blending six different types of original alcohol.

THE AKKESHI Single Malt Japanese Whisky Seimei (Kenten Co.,Ltd.)

THE AKKESHI Single Malt Japanese Whisky Seimei (Kenten Co.,Ltd)

Single Malt Seimei, the seventh in the Akkeshi Whisky Twenty-Four solar terms series, won the Gold Award.

https://en.jpwhisky.net/2022/06/02/akkeshi_seimei-2/

THE YAMAZAKI SINGLE MALT WHISKY(Suntory Spirits Limited)

THE YAMAZAKI SINGLE MALT WHISKY (Suntory Spirits Limited)

Yamazaki Non Vintage was also awarded Gold.

https://en.jpwhisky.net/2021/01/21/yamazaki-2/

Yamazaki Single Malt Whisky Limited Edition 2022 (Suntory Spirits Limited)

THE YAMAZAKI SINGLE MALT WHISKY LIMITED EDITION 2022 (Suntory Spirits Limited)

The Yamazaki Limited Edition 2022 is released once a year.

Yoichi Single Malt (The Nikka Whisky Distilling Co., Ltd.)

Yoichi Single Malt (The Nikka Whisky Distilling Co., Ltd.)

Yoichi Single Malt, the standard single malt from Yoichi Distillery.

https://en.jpwhisky.net/2020/01/18/single-malt-yoichi-2/

Yoichi Single Malt Grande (Nikka Whisky Co., Ltd.)

Yoichi Single Malt Grande (The Nikka Whisky Distilling Co., Ltd.)

Single Malt Yoichi Grande was released exclusively at duty free stores.

Yoichi Single Malt Peaty & Salty (The Nikka Whisky Distilling Co., Ltd.)

Yoichi Single Malt Peaty & Salty (The Nikka Whisky Distilling Co., Ltd.)

Peaty & Salty from the Yoichi Distillery Limited Series.

https://en.jpwhisky.net/2021/04/12/single-malt-yoichi-peaty-salty-2/

2. Single Malt up to 11 years old

Single Malt up to 11 years old

2-1. Gold Award

SABUROMARU II The High Priestess Cask Strength (WAKATSURU SHUZO CO., LTD.)

SABUROMARU II The high priestess Cask strength (WAKATSURU SHUZO CO., LTD.)

This is the third in the series of Single Malt Saburomaru. This one seems to be in the wrong category, and should be classified in the category without age statement.

https://en.jpwhisky.net/2022/11/30/saburomaru_second_caskstrength-2/

三郎丸Ⅱ THE HIGH PRIESTESS カスクストレングス
ノーブランド品

Yoichi Single Malt 10 Years Old (The Nikka Whisky Distilling Co., Ltd.)

Yoichi Single Malt 10 Years Old (The Nikka Whisky Distilling Co., Ltd.)

Yoichi 10 Years Old is back in limited quantities for the first time in several years and has been awarded Gold.

3. Single Malt between 12 and 20 years old

Single Malt between 12 and 20 years old

Suntory is the only company that continues to sell single malt between 12 and 20 years old. Nikka Whisky has discontinued the sale of all its brands with a vintage label.

3-1. Gold Award

THE HAKUSHU SINGLE MALT JAPANESE WHISKY PEATED MALT 18 YEARS OLD (Suntory Spirits Limited)

THE HAKUSHU SINGLE MALT JAPANESE WHISKY PEATED MALT 18 YEARS OLD (Suntory Spirits Limited)

This product is believed to be the Suntory Whisky 100th Anniversary Hakushu 18 Years Old. Product information is only available on the global site.

THE HAKUSHU SINGLE MALT WHISKY 18 YEARS OLD(Suntory Spirits Limited)

THE HAKUSHU SINGLE MALT WHISKY 18 YEARS OLD (Suntory Spirits Limited)

This is the current Hakushu 18 Years Old. It is now very hard to find due to its rarity and high price.

https://en.jpwhisky.net/2018/11/09/singlemalt-hakushu18year-2/

THE YAMAZAKI SINGLE MALT JAPANESE WHISKY MIZUNARA JAPANESE OAK CASK 18 YEARS OLD (Suntory Spirits Limited)

THE YAMAZAKI SINGLE MALT JAPANESE WHISKY MIZUNARA JAPANESE OAK CASK 18 YEARS OLD (Suntory Spirits Limited)

Like the Hakushu 18 Years Old Peated Malt, this is also the Suntory 100th anniversary bottle of Yamazaki 18 Years Old Mizunara. This information is currently only available on the global site.

THE YAMAZAKI SINGLE MALT WHISKY 12 YEARS OLD (Suntory Spirits Limited)

THE YAMAZAKI SINGLE MALT WHISKY 12 YEARS OLD (Suntory Spirits Limited)

This is the current version of Yamazaki 12 Years Old.

https://en.jpwhisky.net/2021/01/04/yamazaki12-2/

THE YAMAZAKI SINGLE MALT WHISKY 18 YEARS OLD (Suntory Spirits Limited)

THE YAMAZAKI SINGLE MALT WHISKY 18 YEARS OLD (Suntory Spirits Limited)

This is the current version of Yamazaki 18 Years Old.

https://en.jpwhisky.net/singlemalt-yamazaki-18year-2-3957/

4. Single Malt 21 years and older

Single Malt 21 years and older

4-1. Trophy Winner

THE YAMAZAKI SINGLE MALT WHISKY 25 YEARS OLD (Suntory Spirits Limited)

THE YAMAZAKI SINGLE MALT WHISKY 25 YEARS OLD (Suntory Spirits Limited)

Yamazaki 25 Years Old was awarded the Trophy, and was also selected as the “Supreme Champion Spirit”, which only one product is selected from all the categories. This is a great accomplishment.

4-2. Double Gold Award

THE HAKUSHU SINGLE MALT WHISKY 25 YEARS OLD (Suntory Spirits Limited)

THE HAKUSHU SINGLE MALT WHISKY 25 YEARS OLD (Suntory Spirits Limited)

Hakushu 25 Years Old was awarded Double Gold. This is quite a high rating following Yamazaki 25 Years Old.

5. Blended Malt Whisky

Blended Malt Whisky

5-1. Gold Award

Ichiro’s Malt Double Distilleries (Venture Whisky)

Ichiro’s Malt Double Distilleries (VentureWhisky)

A blend of malts from the previous Hanyu Distillery and the current Chichibu Distillery. The percentage of Hanyu malt whisky is said to be much lower.

https://en.jpwhisky.net/2021/02/23/ichiros-malt-double-distilleryes-2/

MASAHIRO Pure Malt Whisky 12 Years Old Oloroso Sherry Cask(Masahiro Shuzo)

MASAHIRO Pure Malt Whisky 12 Years Old Oloroso Sherry Cask (Masahiro Shuzo)

This product is not distributed in Japan. According to the description, it is a “world malt whisky” made by maturing malt whisky from overseas at the Masahiro distillery. Is it appropriate to have a product that uses foreign malt whiskey in the Japanese whisky category?

YAMAZAKURA Blended Malt Japanese Whisky Asaka Sherrywood Reserve (SASANOKAWA SHUZO Co., Ltd.)

YAMAZAKURA Blended Malt Japanese Whisky ASAKA Sherrywood Reserve (SASANOKAWA SHUZO Co., Ltd.)

This is a blend of malt whiskies stored at the Asaka Distillery. Based on the history, it is expected to be a blend of malt from the Hanyu Distillery and malt from the Asaka Distillery.

https://en.jpwhisky.net/2021/12/20/yamazakura_blended_malt_sherry-2/

6. Blended Whisky No Age Statement

Blended No Age Statement

6-1. Gold Award

DAIMYO-NO SHINOBU Blended Whisky (Shinobu Distillery)

DAIMYO-NO SHINOBU Blended Whisky (Shinobu Distillery)

This product is not distributed in Japan. It is also unknown if it is produced (distilled) at a distillery in Japan.

Ichiro’s Malt & Grain Blended Japanese Whisky 2023 (Venture Whisky)

Ichiro’s Malt & Grain Blended Japanese Whisky2023 (Venture Whisky)

This Japanese blended Ichiro’s Malt won the world’s highest award for the sixth time at the “World Whisky Awards 2023”. It is said that malt from the Hanyu Distillery, malt from the Chichibu Distillery, and grain from the Kawasaki Distillery are used. In particular, the Hanyu and Kawasaki Distilleries use quite long-aged malt liquors.

イチローズモルト&グレーン ブレンデッド ジャパニーズウイスキー リミテッドエディション 2023
ノーブランド品

KIRIN Single Blended Japanese Whisky FUJI (Kirin Brewery Company, Limited)

KIRIN Single Blended Japanese Whisky FUJI (Kirin Brewery Company, Limited)

A single blended from Kirin’s Fuji series. A blend of malt and grain distillates produced at Fuji Gotemba Distillery.

“https://en.jpwhisky.net/2022/07/26/kirin-single-blended-whisky-fuji-2/]

Kyoto Whisky (Nishijin-ori) KURO-OBI (Kyoto Shuzo Corporation)

Kyoto Whisky (Nishijin-ori) KURO-OBI (Kyoto Shuzo Corporation)

Details about the product and the distillery are unknown, as is whether it is 100% Japanese whisky.

SUNTORY WHISKY Hibiki Blender’s Choice (Suntory Spirits Limited)

SUNTORY WHISKY HIBIKI BLENDER’S CH OICE (Suntory Spirits Limited)

Hibiki Blender’s Choice was launched in September 2018 as the successor line to Hibiki 17nen. It is said to be made from aged sake with an average age of 15 years.

https://jpwhisky.net/hibiki-blenders-choice-928/

SUNTORY WHISKY Hibiki Japanese Harmony Master’s Select (Suntory Spirits Ltd.)

SUNTORY WHISKY HIBIKI JAPANESE HARMONY Master’s Select (Suntory Spirits Limited)

Not released in Japan. Hibiki Japanese Harmony is a limited edition blended with Yamazaki Sherry Cask Sake.

Blended up to 11 years old

Blended up to 11 years old

7-1. gold award-winning

okinawa blue 43% ( kumesen shuzo co.,ltd.)

OKINAWA BLUE 43% (Kumesen Syuzo Co.,Ltd.)

A rice whiskey produced by Kumesen Shuzo Co. in Okinawa, Japan.

8. blended whiskey 21 years and older

Blended 21 years and older

8-1. trophy winner

Suntory Whisky Hibiki 30years old (Suntory Spirits Limited)

SUNTORY WHISKY HIBIKI 30YEARS OLD (Suntory Spirits Limited)

Hibiki 30years old was awarded the trophy along with Yamazaki 25years old.

.

8-2. double gold award

Suntory Whisky Hibiki 21years old (Suntory Spirits Limited)

SUNTORY WHISKY HIBIKI 21YEARS OLD Suntory Spirits Limited

Following the trophy for Hibiki 30years, Hibiki 20years was awarded Double Gold.

https://en.jpwhisky.net/2021/01/27/suntoryhibiki21year-2/

9. Grain Whiskey

Grain Whiskey

9-1. gold award-winning

Kirin Single Grain Whiskey Fuji (Kirin Brewery Company, Limited)

KIRIN Single Grain Whiskey FUJI (Kirin Brewery Company, Limited)

Kirin’s flagship brand “Fuji” Single Grain Whiskey won a Gold Award.

https://jpwhisky.net/kirin-single-grain-whisky-fuji-3371/

Nikka The Grain (Nikka Whisky Co., Ltd.)

Nikka The Grain Whisky (The Nikka Whisky Distilling Co., Ltd.)

The 2023 Nikka Discovery Series of whiskies focuses on the diversity of the original grain whisky created by Nikka Whisky’s history of making different types of whisky.

https://en.jpwhisky.net/2023/04/18/nikka_the_grain-2/

10. Finally

The year 2023 marks exactly 100 years since Suntory’s Yamazaki distillery began operations, marking the 100th anniversary of Japanese whiskey. Yamazaki Aged 25 Years and Hibiki 30 Years Old were awarded the “Trophy” and Yamazaki 25 years old was awarded the “Supreme Champion Spirit”. It was truly a fitting award for the 100th anniversary.

As you can see, in addition to the above trophy awards, Suntory also won many gold and double gold awards in various categories, strongly impressing the audience that Suntory whiskey is a legend of Japanese whiskey.

As for Nikka Whisky, although it has a long history like Suntory, it did not leave the same impression as Suntory because there were no long-aged vintage products in the current lineup.

Many of the new distilleries (craft distilleries) also won gold or more in the “no indication of age” category, and expectations for the future appearance of vintage products have risen considerably.

We are looking forward to seeing which whisky will win the trophy next year.

この記事を書いた人
Misato Ushiwata

Born in Fukushima Prefecture.
She attended a university in Tokyo, where she studied brewing and other sciences while translating articles for the "Japanese Whisky Dictionary".

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Japanese Whisky Dictionary
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