East meets West: Beam Suntory Legent expression crosses cultural divide

By Luke Barras-hill |


Left to right: Shinji Fukuyo, Chief Blender, House of Suntory and Fred Noe, Master Distiller, Jim Beam.

Beam Suntory has drawn on its famed Kentucky distilling tradition and Japanese master blending to create a new expression.

Legent went live with Dufry in global travel retail (excluding Asia) this month for a 12-month period and will roll out in worldwide duty free thereafter.

Beginning life as a Kentucky straight bourbon, the liquid is then aged in wine and sherry casks prior to being blended with more Kentucky straight bourbon to produce a complex whisky.

The super-premium bourbon is distilled by seventh generation Jim Beam Master Blender Fred Noe and blended by Suntory Chief Blender Shinji Fukuyo.


To celebrate the launch, Beam Suntory gathered Noe and Fukuyo in the UK last month for a first-of-a-kind tasting experience at the World Duty Free store at Heathrow Terminal 5.

Consumers were given the chance to sample the bourbon available exclusively with Dufry and to have their bottles of liquid signed personally by both.

Manuel Gonzalez, Global Marketing Manager for Beam Suntory GTR said: “We see global travel retail as a crucial shop window to the wider portfolio through its global footprint and diverse customer base, so it’s a very exciting space in which to launch this truly unique and innovative liquid.

“For us, the global travel retail category is a fantastic opportunity to work with our retail partners to connect with consumers through engaging activations that promote our premium portfolio. Our upcoming brand activations for the launch of Legent are no exception, and we’re very much looking forward to seeing the response to this one-of-a-kind liquid from our customers.”

Eduardo Heusi Pereira, Global Category Director for Liquor at Dufry added: “We are always seeking new and exciting whiskies to bring to our customers and are delighted to be able to offer Legent exclusively in our stores for 12 months from the launch date of 28th September.”

The release of Legent, tipped as a popular dram for frequent bourbon drinkers and those new to the segment, comes at a time of pronounced growth in the category in North America.



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