Suntory drops 2021 The Essence of Suntory Whisky Volume 5, “Golden Promise” and “Islay Peated Malt”
What you need to know:
- Suntory is releasing its seasonal The Essence of Suntory series, this time Volume 5, is themed “Barley”, and will feature two Yamazaki Single Malts
- The two Yamazaki Single Malts are “Golden Promise” and “Islay Peated Malt”, with each of them being comprised entirely of the barley variety it is named after, respectively
- “Golden Promise” is a 12 year old bottling, aged in American oak and is said to have a soft aroma and rich texture.
- “Islay Peated Malt” is a 11 year old bottling, also aged in American oak and will feature a strong peachy aroma and a smooth texture.
- Take note that bottles are 500ml rather than the usual 700ml.
Suntory’s (sort of) annual release of its limited edition The Essence of Suntory series is always a chance for the Japanese whisky giant to showcase some of its more unique styles, which between their three local distilleries, is truly an diverse as the Pantone colour palette.
For 2021, Suntory will release Volume 5 of The Essence of Suntory, entitled “Barley”, featuring two Yamazaki Single Malts. Evidently a nod to the core ingredient that makes whisky, well, malt whisky anyway.
For this set of two, one will be titled “Golden Promise”, after the famous barley grain used by the likes of The Macallan, and the other will be titled “Islay Peated Malt”, which keep in mind, the majority of barley used in Japan is actually imported. As such, most peated Japanese whiskies you taste, if they are indeed distilled locally, typically makes use of imported peated malted barley.
As the name suggests, this bottle will be made entirely of whiskies distilled using non-peated Golden Promise barley. This barley is fairly uncommon but is seen as a high quality varietal known to produce robust, creamy whisky. The malt here was distilled in 2009 and bottled in 2021, making it 12 years old, and was aged in American oak barrels to produce a soft aroma and rich mouthfeel.
Islay Peated Malt
Also as the name suggested, this bottle is made entirely of Islay Peated Malt (the Optic variety to be specific). As mentioned, the majority of barley used in Japanese whiskies are imported, especially peated ones. Although that said, some Ji-whisky distilleries such as Chichibu and Shizuoka are trying to change that. This is also aged in American oak barrels and is aged for 11 years, having been distilled in 2010 and bottled in 2021. It is said to feature a strong peachy aroma and a smooth mouthfeel.
You know the drill. It’s a Suntory – scratch that – a Yamazaki limited edition. Which means this will go like hot cakes. Of the previous releases under the Essence of Suntory volumes, I have tried a couple and I actually liked the Rice Whisky that came out in 2020 a lot. Much of what you’ll find in these volumes are fairly unusual and certainly for diehard fans who enjoy traversing to the edge of the Suntory multiverse.
Looks good doesn't it? Trust me, go with the Islay Peated Malt. (Image Source: Easy Food DE)
Personally, between the two, the Islay Peated Malt sounds like the one I would go for. I'm just thinking of smoked peaches.
I will caveat though that when considering the prices, be it RRP or secondary, do take note that the Essence of Suntory bottlings are usually 500ml rather than the standard 700ml. So make sure you adjust your price consciousness accordingly – though with all likelihood prices are the last thing on the minds of anyone who is attempting to grab one of these.
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