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Yamazaki 2020 Edition Series (aka do you have $20,000 to blow?)

Yamazaki has been fairly consistent with their annual limited edition special releases. Apart from typically being included in the broader ESSENCE of Suntory Whisky special series that is also released annually, they’ve ironically been more regular with these special releases than they have been with their own core ranges. 

What is interesting is that for the 2020 edition which was released sometime in November 2020 and has been starting to pop up at specialist whisky retailers for prices that look like they misplaced the “.00”, it never has been officially announced by Suntory. Yet word is that some leaked promotional materials were provided by Suntory to their distributors and so we gather the following information.

The latest range is a set of 5 bottles, all of which are NAS and bottled at 48% abv, and will cost you somewhere between $12,000 to $25,000 for the full set. You can start seeing them pop up at a number of whisky retailers. Yamazaki
(Image Source: The Whisky Shop SG) 


In text form, they are: 

Yamazaki Peated Malt 2020 Edition

Yamazaki Bordeaux Wine Cask 2020 Edition

Yamazaki Spanish Oak 2020 Edition

Yamazaki Mizunara Japanese Oak Cask 2020 Edition

Yamazaki Puncheon 2020 Edition

We can expect the tasting notes for them to go something like this,


These come from 480L American Oak Puncheons coopered by Suntory themselves and because of the lower contact ratio of puncheons to spirit (cos Puncheons are shorter and more stout), maturity was slower, and so the distillate is likely to show flavors closer to the original spirit. 

Color:               Bright Yellow Gold 

Nose:               Green Apples, Vanilla, Acacia Honey 

Palate:             Soft and Mellow, Butterscotch

Finish:             Slight Bitterness of Oak and Slight Sweetness 

 (Image Source: Kitchen (Mis)Adventures) 

I don’t know about you, but it's stirring thoughts of Sweet and Sour Pork.


These were matured in French wine casks (from Bordeaux if you might ask, fancy schmancy~) which are expected to impart a smooth sweet and sour accent to the Yamazaki.

Color:               Amber with Tint of Red

Nose:               Berry Fruit Sweetness and Spicy

Palate:             Complex, Rich and Thick

Finish:             Sweet and Sour, Spiciness of French Oak

This is for die hard wine lovers who are forced to join a whisky tasting session.


The Spanish Oak is supposedly more tannin rich than the American Oak, which amps up the aromatics. Suntory says they sourced these ex-Sherry casks solely from Spanish Oak because it gives a richer, more concentrated sweetness and sourness to the malt.

Color:               Red-hued Dark Amber 

Nose:               Raisin, Dried Tomato

Palate:             Concentrated Sweet and Sourness

Finish:             Lasting Acidity and Slight Bitterness

Sun-maid raisins?




American Oak barrels and hogshead that contained the heavily peated part of the typical Yamazaki blend is where this comes from.

Color:               Bright Yellow Gold

Nose:               Smokey, Peach

Palate:             Softness, Pineapple, Smoked

Finish:             Continuing Aromatic Peat


Mizunara is Yamazaki’s secret sauce so how could we go without it? We can expect that distinctive sandalwood, coconut, citrus, oak-y musk.

Color:               Amber

Nose:               Bright Top Notes, Custard Cream, Cinnamon

Palate:             Soft on the Tongue, Highly Aromatic, Dense Sweetness

Finish:             Memorable Japanese Incense

Final notes from us, if we haaaaad to choose one bottle to try, we’re probably going with the Peated Malt. It’s not only unusual for Yamazaki to be really smokey, and to be honest we’re not MASSIVE peat fans, but it would really be interesting to see how that goes with Yamazaki’s really dense blends versus Scotch whiskies which are typically unblended. Also because of Yamazaki’s usual floral, fruity style, we kinda guess this is gonna go down like smoked cream much like a baked Alaska or something along the lines of Prosciutto on Melons. And that sounds top notch.

Well that’s all we have here for you today folks!

As always, Kanpai!