[Review] Essence of Suntory Whisky Islaypeated

Whisky Review
Whisky Review
SuntoryYamazaki Distillery

The fifth in the THE ESSENCE of SUNTORY series Vol. 5 The fifth in the series

THE ESSENCE of SUNTORY series was created based on Suntory’s desire to pursue the “Essence” in whisky making.

Part 1Released on February 27, 2018 Single Malt Whisky Single malt whisky Yamazaki Distillery <peated malt
Single grain whisky Hakushu Distillery <Rye type
Single grain whisky Chita distillery〈Ripe after 4 years in wine barrels
Second releaseFebruary 26, 2019 releaseSingle malt whisky Yamazaki Distillery <Spanish Oak
Single malt whisky Yamazaki Distillery <Montillery Wine Cask
Single malt whisky Yamazaki Distillery <Refill Sherry Cask
Third releaseRelease on October 29, 2019Blended Japanese whisky <Clean Type
Blended Japanese whisky (Rich Type)
Part 4To be released on April 28, 2020Essence of Suntory whisky(Rice whisky)
Single grain whisky Chita Distillery <Cherry Blossom Barrel Mature Blend
Part 5 To be released on August 31, 2021 Single malt whisky Yamazaki Distillery <Golden Promise
Single malt whisky Yamazaki Distillery <Ira-peated

This time, it was developed under the theme of “barley”.

The label design is also based on the image of “barley” with ink art.

The single malt whisky is made from the rare “Golden Promise” malt, and the single malt whisky is made from dried, peat-fired malt from the island of Islay. These are two challenges that expand the new possibilities of whisky making by taking advantage of Suntory’s pride in creating a variety of different types of raw materials.

This “Islay Peated” is made from peat mined on the island of Islay, so I wonder if it was realized from the flow of Suntory’s ownership of the Bowmore distillery. (under Suntory in 1994) and the Laphroig distillery (under Suntory in 2014)


1. Manufacturer

Suntory Spirits Co.

Establishment Established in 1899
Head office location2-3-3 Daiba, Minato-ku, Tokyo 135-8631, Japan
Owned distilleryJapan
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. Distilleries

Suntory Yamazaki Distillery

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

The Yamazaki Distillery was established in 1923 as the first malt whisky distillery in Japan. This was at a time when whisky was still a rare drink for the general public. ” I want to make a Japanese whisky that suits 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.

“Nobujiro decided that Yamazaki was the only place where he could make good whisky with this water and climate.

SUNTORY Yamazaki Distillery
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.
2005 May 11 – Launch of single malt whisky “Yamazaki 50 years” – limited to 50 bottles, 1 million yen
2007 September 11 Re-released single malt whisky “Yamazaki 50 years” Limited to 50 bottles, 1 million yen
2011/12/13 Re-release of single malt whisky “Yamazaki 50 years” Limited to 150 bottles: 1 million yen
June 30, 2020: Re-release of single malt whisky “Yamazaki 55 years”, limited to 100 bottles, 3 million yen

Image credit: Yamazaki Distillery|Single Malt Whisky Yamazaki|Suntory

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


3. Product name and photo

Essence of Suntory Whisky Islaypeated

4. Characteristics

Single malt whisky aged for 11 years in American oak barrels.
This single malt whisky is a blend of only raw materials made from peat-fired and dried malt mined on the island of Islay.
One of the characteristics of the peat from Islay is that it is influenced by the sea due to its location near the coast.
The powerful peatiness of Islay peat, the scent of the sea, and the smooth mouthfeel of this whisky are sure to please.

4-1. Tasting Notes

AromaStrong peaty, tidal aroma
TasteSmooth mouthfeel with a lingering sweetness
AftertasteA long, aromatic, peaty finish.

(Source: Suntory Holdings Limited)

4-2. Product Specifications

Alcohol Content54% alcohol by volume
alcohol categoryMalt (optic peat malt)
Barrel typeAmerican oak barrels
Number of bottles soldLimited quantity
Suggested retail price8,800 yen (tax included)
Release dateAugust 31, 2021 (Tuesday)


No awards have been received at this time.


6-1. Manufacturer’s suggested retail price

Product nameEssence of Suntory whisky <Ira Peated
Suggested retail price8,800 yen (tax included)

6-2. Resale price on Mercari

The resale price on Mercari is around 73,000 yen to 78,000 yen for a set of two bottles of Essence of Suntory whisky <Ira Peated> and Essence of Suntory whisky <Golden Promise>. (*As of September 1, 2021)

6-3. Yahoo Auction Sold Price

The lowestbid price on Yahoo Auction for a set of two bottles of Essence of Suntory whisky (Islay Peated) and Essence of Suntory whisky (Golden Promise) is 78,000 yen, the highest is 101,000 yen, and the average is 84,501 yen. (*Statistics for the past 120 days from 9/1/2021)

6-4. Rakuten, Yahoo Shopping, Amazon

6-4. Rakuten, Yahoo! Shopping, Amazon, and other mail-order sites also sell at around 60,000 yen. (*As of September 2, 2021)

6-5. Price offered at BAR Shinkai

At “BAR SHINKAI”, which is operated by our website, we offer a small amount of eachdrink,45ml: 3,960 yen, 30ml: 2,640 yen, 15ml: 1,320 yen

, etc.


7. Summary

This whisky was created by Suntory’s diverse selection of raw materials. It is made from peat from the island of Islay, so as expected, the peatiness with a touch of sea saltiness is very assertive in both aroma and taste. If you like Islay single malts, you should definitely try this one.
If you don’t like peat, I recommend the “Golden Promise” because you can feel the richness and flavor of the malt.
Both of these whiskies are limited and hard to find, so if you see them in a bar, you should definitely try them.

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 worldwide trend, or if you want to learn more about it, we highly recommend these books.

(1). 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.


(2). Whisky Galore Vol.25 April 2021

The April 2021 issue of Whisky Galore, published by the Whisky Culture Research Institute.
This issue of Whisky Galore, published by the Whisky Culture Research Institute, features the definition of Japanese whisky and a list of 24 distilleries as the latest in Japanese whisky. It also includes an interview with Suntory Chief Blender Shinji Fukuyo, making it a must-have for Japanese whisky fans.


(3). Whisky 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