Suntory quietly files for approval of an all new Yamazaki 25 Year Old blend of Mizunara (Japanese Oak), Spanish Oak and American Oak
What you need to know:
- Suntory gets approval for a new 25 Year Old Yamazaki, the new label is adorned with gold specks!
- This will be a blend of Japanese Oak, Spanish Oak and American Oak. Previous bottlings were Sherry cask matured. This is certainly new.
- The use of American Oak should give mellow vanilla and caramel flavors while Japanese Oak should give characteristic sandalwood, coconut and citrus palettes.
- This is an addition to the previous bottling’s Sherry flavors of rich, fragrant and fruity, oaky flavors.
(Image Source: US TTB)
Suntory has quietly filed for US approval of an all new 25 Year Old Yamazaki.
The sneaky fellas!
From what we’ve found from the depths of the US Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB) database, it appears the new label will be adorned with specks of gold.
This new release is expected to be a blend of Japanese Oak (Mizunara), Spanish Oak and American Oak and will be bottled in a dark glass bottle similar to the Yamazaki 18.
It will be priced at 125,000 JPY.
Can this new expression top the previous award-winning bottling? (Image Source: WhiskyBase)
This is a split from previous bottlings of Yamazaki 25 Years Old, which were matured in Sherry Casks and spotted fragrant, fruity and oaky flavors.
The previous bottling was highly awarded, having won Best Japanese Single Malt (21 Years and Over) at the World Whiskies Awards 2015, Double Gold Medals at the San Francisco World Spirits Competition 2015, and World’s Best Single Malt Whisky at the World Whiskies Awards 2012.
How will the addition of Japanese and American Oak matured whiskies influence this new bottling and will it live up to its predecessor?
Well, let’s take a look at what these Oaks have to offer!
American Oak is typically used for Bourbon, and gives off soft, mellow, vanilla and caramel flavors, particularly heavy on the vanillin side. Not a particularly uncommon cask to use, the majority of whiskies we have today are actually matured in American Oak ex-Bourbon casks.
Mizunara wood is notoriously a nightmare to work with. (Image Source: Dekanta)
Japanese Oak is of course the well-known Mizunara Oak, which also translates to Water Oak, for its high water content and is notorious for being very difficult to use, and just as difficult to harvest given that Japanese Oak trees need to be at least 200 years old before they can be used for casks due to significant warping of the trees.
They are also highly porous and prone to leakage or completely breaking. They are famous for their kara flavors, likened to temple incense, for its similarities to high quality agarwood, sandalwood, with and edge of toasted coconut and citrus.
2020 saw Yamazaki release a slew of Limited Edition cask-matured variations. (Image Source: The Whisky Shop SG)
Standalone, Yamazaki has released whiskies matured in these casks before but the combination of the three is definitely a whisky-lover’s candy shop. Especially given Yamazaki’s renowned wood management that sees distillery staff choose Oaks years before they are ready to be harvested, securing their access to the highest quality woods.
This will certainly be an interesting mix and one to watch! That is if you can get your hands on it!