Whisky Review
Whisky Review
Yamazaki Distillery

Yamazaki Distillery’s Variety of unblended whisky
At the Yamazaki Distillery, we produce an unparalleled variety of undiluted spiritsin the fermentation, distillation, and aging processes. Particularly in the maturing process, barrels of various types, materials and sizes play an important role in the characterization of the original sake.

In order to fully enjoy the characteristics of these different types of raw materials, we use the following methods The five types of single malt whisky “Yamazaki” 2020 EDITION. The climate and craftsmanship of Yamazaki have nurtured We hope you will enjoy the unique flavors of each. (From the manufacturer’s website)


1. Manufacturer

Suntory Spirits Co.

Establishment Established in 1899
Head office 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. 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. It was 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.

Shinjiro 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.

Image credit: Yamazaki Club

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


3. Product name and photo

Single malt whisky ” YAMAZAKI ” SPANISH OAK 2020 EDITION

4. Characteristics

Concentrated sweetness and acidity from Spanish oak, with rich fruit.

Spanish oak produces malt liquor with a rich aroma because it dissolves more tannins and other substances than the more common American oak. The oak is cut from the forests of northern Spain, and the barrels are made according to strict quality standards. The malt is then laid down for a certain period of time in Spanish oak barrels* used for storing sherry. We hope you enjoy the concentrated sweetness, acidity, and rich fruit aroma of the Spanish oak.

The sherry barrels (barrels used for storing sherry) generally include Spanish oak barrels and American oak barrels, but this product uses only Spanish oak barrels, hence the name “Spanish Oak 2020 EDITION”. (From the manufacturer’s website)

4-1. Tasting Notes

AromaRaisins, dried tomatoes
TasteConcentrated sweetness and acidity
AftertasteContinued sourness and bitterness

(Quoted from: Single Malt Whisky “Yamazaki” 2020 EDITION 5 kinds|Single Malt Whisky Yamazaki|Suntory )

4-2. Product Specifications

Alcohol content48% alcohol by volume
Alcohol categorySingle malt whisky
Barrel type

Spanish oak barrels

Number of bottles sold

Limited quantity (quantity not disclosed)
This product is sold in limited quantities, mainly to restaurants.

Suggested retail price12,100 yen (tax included)
Release dateNovember 4, 2020

5. Awards

No awards have been received at this time.

6. Price

6-1. Manufacturer’s suggested retail price

Product name Single Malt Whisky “Yamazaki” Spanish Oak 2020 EDITION
Suggested retail price12,100 yen (tax included)

6-2. Resale price on Mercari

The resale price on Mercari is around 138,000 yen to 180,000 yen. (*as of May 10, 2021)

6-3. Sold price on Yahoo Auction

The winning bid price on Yahoo Auction is Lowest price 154,000 yen, highest 199,990 yen, average 171,423 yen (*Statistics for the past 120 days as of May 10, 2021)

6-4. Rakuten, Yahoo Shopping, Amazon

It is also available at mail order sites for around 330,000 yen.(*As of May 10, 2021)

6-5. Price offered at BAR Shinkai

At BAR SHINKAI, which is operated by this website, we offer one drink, 45 ml: 4,290 yen, 30 ml: 2,860 yen, 15 ml: 1,430 yen.


7. Summary

Because of the great influence of oak on the raw spirit, this product was launched under the product name Spanish Oak. In developing this product, we checked past Yamazaki sherry casks and carefully selected and blended the raw materials to achieve a flavor comparable to those casks. We hope you enjoy the rich, smooth and deep taste.
Chief Blender Shinji Fukuyo (from the manufacturer’s website)

The sweet and rich aroma derived from sherry is very characteristic.
In the mouth, you can feel dried fruits and spiciness, and the gorgeous aftertaste continues.

We also have Puncheon, Bordeaux Wine Cask, and Peated Malt available for you to compare.

How about relaxing and de-stressing while feeling the differences in their personalities and the depth of whisky?

We hope you will enjoy it at BAR SHINKAI.

“Please also read other articles about Single Malt Whisky “Yamazaki” 2020 EDITION.


https://jpwhisky.net/2021/05/10/yamazaki- bordeaux-wine-cask-2020-edition-2/


Lastly: Recommended Books on Japanese Whisky

If you want to learn more about Japanese whisky, which is a global trend, and 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 features 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.

鈴木 あかり

Born in Saitama, Japan.
Also active as an actor and graphic designer. He joined Shinkai BAR because he likes to drink. He is in charge of translating articles into English and other languages for the "Japanese Whisky Dictionary".

鈴木 あかりをフォローする
Japanese Whisky Dictionary