House of Suntory has launched the Legent Yamazaki Cask Finish Blend line extension, a limited-run release said to “break new ground” in bourbon.
The blend sees bourbon matured in French oak wine and Spanish oak sherry casks combined with whiskey aged in casks that previously held Yamazaki Japanese single malt.
All three were then blended with eight year old Kentucky straight bourbon.
After being make in Kentucky from US grain, the finishing period and blending took place at Yamazaki Distillery.
The Legent Yamazaki GTR roll out comprises the US, Australia, Singapore and India. The release will also be available in select local markets. It carries an RSP of US$200.
Yamazaki is considered the birthplace of Japanese whisky, which marks its centenary this year. Suntory says it offers the ideal environment for maturation due to its distinct seasons and warm, humid climate.
The distillery is also where Suntory honed its ‘Tsukuriwake’ concept. Tsukuriwake translates as ‘diversity of making’, and is essentially the company’s approach to blending.
Legent Yamazaki Cask Finish Blend: a ‘harmonious’ expression
Fifth-generation Chief Blender of Suntory Whisky, Shinji Fukuyo, selected the casks used in Legent Yamazaki’s maturation and blended the release.
The resulting blend is described as a “harmonious balance of oaky warmth, smooth brightness, and a distinctly long finish with hints of spice”.
Legend Bourbon first launched in 2019 and was the first collaboration between the Beam bourbon-making side of the business and Suntory’s Japanese whisky arm.
“Partnering with Fred Noe, seventh-generation Master Distiller of James B. Beam Distilling Co, on Legent Bourbon was an honour and an exciting opportunity to create something special that represents East meets West,” said Fukuyo.
“Taking it one step further to create this limited-edition release that is finished by the climate of Yamazaki Distillery creating its unique matured aroma and reimagined with our blending techniques has been an exciting endeavour.
“The result is a first-of-its-kind whiskey with new layers of rounded and complex flavours.”
Jon Potter, Managing Director for the House of Suntory, added: “Legent represents the future of whiskey innovation from The House of Suntory.
“For generations, our master blenders have crafted world-class spirits through exceptional innovation and blending techniques.
“As we look to the next 100 years, Legent Yamazaki Cask Finish Blend exemplifies the global influence of Japanese craftsmanship and The House of Suntory’s consistent pursuit of mastery.”
A travel retail showcase
Manuel Gonzalez, Beam Suntory Brand Marketing Director Global Travel Retail, commented: “The travel retail channel has played a key role this year in celebrating The House of Suntory’s 100th anniversary of pioneering Japanese spirit, and I am delighted that Suntory’s Legent Yamazaki Cask Finish Blend will also be showcased in selected travel retail doors.
“This prestige limited-edition release is a very special blend – on every level – and illustrates perfectly how we are harnessing The House of Suntory’s exceptional history and heritage to create new and exciting liquids that encapsulate the craftmanship and quality that has always been associated with the brand.
“I have no doubt that this new whiskey will prove hugely popular with our discerning passenger clientele, add value to the category, and further drive commercial success.”
Beam Suntory first released the Legent concept in 2020, promising there was ‘more to come’.