Whisky Review
Whisky Review
Yamazaki Distillery

This time, I’d like to talk about Yamazaki 18 years old This time I’d like to talk about Yamazaki 18 years old , an 18-year-old single malt whisky from Japan’s This time I’d like to talk about Yamazaki 18 years old , an 18-year-old single malt whisky from Japan’s first whisky distillery, the Yamazaki Distillery!

It is no exaggeration to say that it has become a synonym for a whisky distillery, the Yamazaki Distillery! It is no exaggeration to say that it has become a synonym for a whisky distillery, the Yamazaki Distillery!

So, I would like to explain in detail about “Yamazaki 18 years”.


1. Manufacture

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 Yamazaki Distillery


Location 5-2-1 Yamazaki, Shimamoto-cho, Mishima-gun, Osaka 618-0001, Japan
Start of operation 1923

About Yamazaki Distillery

The Yamazaki Distillery was established in 1923 as the first malt whisky distillery in Japan. At a time when whisky was still a rare drink for the general public, Shinjiro Torii set out to create a Japanese whisky that would suit the delicate taste of the Japanese people. With this passion in his heart, Shinjiro Torii set out to make whisky.
Shinjiro was particular about the Japanese climate. Water and the environment were especially important to him. Yamazaki is the home of the famous water called Minase no, which was written about in the Manyo poem.
The tea master Sen no Rikyu loved this place and the water was perfect for making whisky. The natural environment was also perfect.
Yamazaki is located in the southwest of Kyoto, at the foot of Tennozan (Mt. Tenno), where bamboo groves grow thickly, and is rich in nature where you can feel the seasonal changes. Located at the confluence of the Katsura, Uji, and Kizu Rivers, and surrounded by mountains, Yamazaki is prone to thick fog and has a warm and humid climate, which is ideal for maturing whisky.

Shinjiro decided to make Yamazaki the home of whisky, saying, Yamazaki is the only place with this water and climate to make good whisky.


Yamazaki Distillery Whisky

1923 Yamazaki distillery was built. The first whisky distillery in Japan.
1929 Released the first domestically produced whisky, Shirofuda.
1937 Released "Kakubin".
1984 Released single malt whisky " Yamazaki ".
1992 - Single malt whisky "Yamazaki 18 years" was launched.
1998 - Single malt whisky "Yamazaki 25 years" was launched.

For more information on the Yamazaki Distillery, please see this article.

Suntory Yamazaki Distillery:Visi...
One hundred years ago, Shinjiro Torii and Masataka Taketsuru of Kotobukiya (now Suntory) paid a visit to the Suntory Yam...

3. product name and photo


4. Features

An overwhelming sense of depth and maturity!

The aroma of sweet dried fruits and savory chocolate from the sherry cask aging is impressive. The long-aged original wine from Mizunara oak casks also lurks in the bottle, giving it a sense of maturity and depth of flavor.
This is a full-bodied type that has been carefully post-aged, mainly from original sherry casks that are at least 18 years old. This is a gem that allows you to enjoy an overwhelming sense of maturity!

4-1. Tasting Notes

Aroma Raisin, apricot, chocolate
Taste Honeyed, sweet and sour, spicy
Aftertaste Ripe fruit, sweet and sour, long and deep finish

4-2. Product Specifications

Alcohol Content 43% alcohol by volume
Distillate Single malt whisky
Cask type Quercus casks, sherry casks, etc.
Volume 700ml
Number of bottles sold
Suggested retail price 35,200 yen (tax included)
Date of release Date of release 1992

5. Awards.

2018 ISC Gold Award
2015 SWSC Best Other Whisky Award
2015 SWSC Double Gold (Best Other Whisky)
2014 ISC Gold Award
2013 ISC Gold Award
2013 SWSC Double Gold (Best Other Whisky)
2012 ISC Trophy (Highest Award)
2011 SWSC Double Gold (Best Gold Award)
2010 SWSC Double Gold (Best Gold Award)
2010 ISC Gold Award
2009 SWSC Double Gold (Best Gold Award)
2008 SWSC Double Gold (Best Gold Award)
2007 ISC Gold Medal
2006 IWSC Trophy (highest award)
2005 SWSC Double Gold (Best Gold Award)

ISC : International Spirits Challenge
SWSC : San Francisco World Spirits Competition
IWSC : International Wine & Spirit Competition

6. Price

6-1. Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price

Product name Single Malt Yamazaki 18years old
Capacity 700ml
Suggested retail price Tax included: 35,200 yen

Due to the extremely low stock, there are no retailers selling this product at this price.

6-2. Resale price on Mercari

The resale price on Mercari ranges from 84,000 yen to 166,000 yen. (*As of 6/17/2022)

6-3. Yahoo Auction Sold Price

The current prices on Yahoo! Auctions are: lowest bidder: 101,000 yen, highest bidder: 338,800 yen, average bidder: 143,801 yen (as of 6/17/2022)

6-4. Rakuten, Yahoo Shopping, Amazon

The price ranges from 160,000 yen to 168,000 yen on mail-order sites. (*As of 6/17/2022)

6-5.Prices offered at BAR Shinkai

At “BAR Shinkai” operated by this site, one cup, 45ml: 9,130 yen, 30ml: 6,160 yen, 15ml: 3,080 yen, etc. are offered in small quantities.


7. Summary

Over the past few years, Japanese whiskies have won numerous awards in international whisky competitions, such as the Yamazaki 18-nen, and this has solidified the reputation of Japanese whiskies in the world.
I believe that it was probably after receiving world acclaim that they became popular in Japan.
Those who have worked in the alcoholic beverage industry know that Japanese people have been producing and selling world-class, delicious whisky at low prices since the beginning.
I do not believe that this is to say that Japanese whisky has become more delicious in the past few years, but rather that “the world has noticed the excellence of Japanese whisky and the Japanese people have rediscovered it.
Unfortunately, the distribution of Japanese whisky has been drastically reduced and the price has skyrocketed, making it difficult to drink it casually, but I think it is better to drink it as a special drink on celebratory occasions or special days.

■Please be sure to check out our other articles on Single Malt Yamazaki.

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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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