Whisky Review
Whisky Review

SUNTORY WORLD WHISKY 碧 Ao is the result of Suntory’s new challenge to develop a blended whisky by blending the five most unique whiskies in the world.
The whisky is a message for a new era, befitting Suntory’s new challenge of continuing “inheritance and innovation. For the first time in the world, it is a blend of the original whiskys of the “World’s Five Greatest whiskys” made at the company’s own distillery.
We named the bottle “Ao”, the deep and beautiful color of the ocean that connects Japan and the world, and used it as the brand’s color. The bottle also is designed to represent a compass and waves. The innovative “pentagonal bottle” represents the “world’s five great whiskys. The corners of the bottle are placed in front of the label, and the English/black ink logotype on the label symbolizes the encounter between “the world’s finest whisky and Japan’s master. These all represent the development concept of this product and convey a message for a new era.
A limited number of 360,000 bottles in total will be shipped in two seasons, summer and autumn/winter, starting April 16, 2019.



 1. Manufacture

Suntory Spirits Co.

Establishment 1899
Head office location2-3-3 Daiba, Minato-ku, Tokyo 〒135-8631, Japan
Owned Distillery

Yamazaki Distillery, Hakushu Distillery, Chita Distillery
Ardmore Distillery, Glen Garioch Distillery, Auchentoshan Distillery, Bowmore Distillery, Laphroaig Distillery
Cooley Distillery, Kilbeggan Distillery
●United States
Jim Beam Distillery, Maker’s Mark Distillery
Hiram Walker Distillery, Alberta Distillery

 2. Distilleries


Start of operation

Cooley Distillery


Cooley Peninsula, County Louth, Ireland1989

Ardmore Distillery


Kennethmont, Aberdeenshire, Scotland1898

Glen Garioch Distillery


Oldmeldrum,Aberdeenshire, Scotland

1797(There are  various theories.)

 Jim Beam Distillery


Clermont , State of Kentucky1795

Alberta Distillery 



Calgary, Alberta, Canada1946

Yamazaki Distillery


5-2-1 Yamazaki, Shimamoto-cho, Mishima-gun, Osaka  〒618-00011923

 Hakushu Distillery 


2913-1 Torihara, Hakushu-cho, Hokuto-shi, Yamanashi 〒408-03161973



The founder of Suntory, Shinjiro Torii, decided to make whisky out of his passionate desire to “create a Japanese whisky that would suit the delicate taste of the Japanese people. He founded the Yamazaki Distillery in 1923 as the first whisky distillery in Japan.

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


白州蒸溜所 | ジャパニーズウイスキーディクショナリー
Japanese Whisky Dictionary

In order to produce a different type of malt whisky from the Yamazaki Distillery, the Hakushu Distillery was established in Hakushu, one of the most famous water areas in Japan, after a search for the best quality water for making whisky.

In 1973, exactly 50 years after the Yamazaki distillery started operations, the Hakushu distillery, Suntory’s second malt whisky distillery, began operations.

For more information on Hakushu Distillery, please see this article as well.


白州蒸溜所 | ジャパニーズウイスキーディクショナリー
Japanese Whisky Dictionary

3. product name and photo


 4. Features

碧 “Ao” opens up a new world of whisky.

Raw spirits from seven distilleries are selected and carefully blended with master craftsmanship, taking advantage of their rich individuality.
It has a sweet, gorgeous aroma and a mellow mouthfeel. It is characterized by a thick, varied flavor and a pleasant smokiness.
You can enjoy the complex and rich changes in flavor that are woven by the individuality of the world’s five great whiskies.
The pentagonal bottle represents the five major whiskies of the world.

Translated with www.DeepL.com/Translator (free version)


4-1.Tasting Note

FragranceGorgeous, fruity top notes of vanilla-like and pineapple.
Creamy sweetness followed by a rich, woody aroma.
TasteSmooth and sweet mouthfeel. Smoky and cinnamon-like spices come through on the palate.
AftertasteSweet, smoky, and spicy woody flavors intertwine in a complex and pleasant way.

(Quote from: Suntory Holdings Limited)

4-2. Product Specifications

Alcohol contents43%
TypeBlended Whisky
Suggested Retail Price5,000yen (excluding tax)
Release Date16th April 2019


There are no awards at this time.

 6. Price

6-1. Manufacturer’s suggested retail price

Product name


Suggested Retail Price5,000yen (excluding tax)

6-2. Resale Price on Mercari

The resale price on Mercari is around 4,000 yen. (*As of 19th on March 2021)

6-3. Yahoo auction bidding price

The lowest bid price on Yahoo Auction was 2,100 yen, the highest was 4,790 yen, and the average was 3,175 yen (*Statistics for the past 120 days from 19th on March 2021)

6-4. Rakuten, Yahoo Shopping, Amazon

It is also available at mail order sites for around 5,000 yen. (*As of 30th on January 2021)

6-5. Price offered at BAR Shinkai

At “Bar Shinkai“, which is operated by this website, we offer a  glass  15ml for 1650 yen.

Information about “BAR Shinkai”
Japanese Whisky Dictionary operates three BAR Shingai stores in Minato Ward, Tokyo. In addition to the Japanese whiskeys introduced on this site, they also hand...

 7. Summary

Here is a message from Shinji Fukuyo, the fifth generation chief blender of Suntory whiskies including the Yamazaki limited series, and the man who led the development of 碧”Ao”.

I would start by pouring 碧”Ao” into a large glass and enjoy it straight, then add an ice cube and taste it, and when the ice has melted, add a little water to feel the changes. The trick to drinking it is to gradually dilute it with ice and water to enjoy the gradual change in taste. But don’t just assume that this is the right way to drink it, try different ways and enjoy the change in taste itself.
Try to find the floral taste of Jim Beam, the smoky taste of Ardmore, and the taste of Yamazaki sherry cask. I think these three are relatively easy to find. With the fun of solving this homework, I want you to experience the real appeal of 碧”Ao”.

It’s a whisky you can’t help but drink!
It is limited to 360,000 bottles. Please taste it at Toranomon BAR Shinkai as soon as possible.

Translated with www.DeepL.com/Translator (free version)


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