Beam Suntory has introduced Suntory Whisky Toki. The new Japanese whisky, which launches exclusively in the US this month and in Canada in July at a RRP of US$39.99, is a blend of whiskies from the House of Suntory’s Hakushu Distillery, Yamazaki Distillery and Chita Distillery.
While Suntory Whisky Toki respects tradition, it also challenges whisky convention by rethinking the hierarchy of its components. Suntory blends often use Yamazaki malts as their key component but chief blender Shinji Fukuyo has taken a fresh approach. He has by chosen two pillar whiskies: the singular Hakushu American white oak cask malt whisky with its unique freshness, mellowness and spectacular green apple notes and, to complement that, Chita heavy-type grain whisky to add a clean taste with notes of sweetness and vanilla.
By pairing these seemingly dissimilar but deeply accordant whiskies, Fukuyo’s insight overturned the old relationship between malt and grain and created a blend that is both groundbreaking and timeless, Suntory states.
Traditionally in Suntory blends, grain whiskies have played merely a supporting role, acting as a broth to accentuate key malts. But wide range of grain whiskies produced at Suntory’s Chita distillery led Shinji Fukuyo to rethink that role. He saw these whiskies, with their exquisite balance of complexity, subtlety and refinement, not as a scaffold for the heroic malt to ascend but as true heroes in their own right.
This unique encounter between Hakushu malt and Chita grain whiskies gives Suntory Whisky Toki its silky taste and vivid character. To give the blend greater depth and complexity, Fukuyo carefully selected two Yamazaki malts. Yamazaki American white oak cask malt whisky harmonizes the Hakushu and Chita components, while bringing roundness and reinforcing the sweetness of Chita heavy-type grain whisky with peach and custard aromas. Finally, Yamazaki Spanish oak cask malt whisky adds woody and bittersweet notes to the blend. The result is a vivid, well-balanced and silky blend with a subtle sweet-and-spicy finish.
The smoothness of Suntory Whisky Toki allows for exceptional versatility — the expression can be enjoyed neat, on the rocks, as a highball or mixed as a cocktail. The Suntory Whisky Toki highball is recommended for those interested in experiencing how whisky is enjoyed in Japan today.
13 June 2016 - Felicity Murray The Drinks Report, editor
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