Japan: Suntory suspends delivery of its whiskeys

Whisky Japan News

The Japanese drinks giant Suntory Holdings will suspend the delivery of two of its featured whiskeys, the 17-year-old Hibiki and the 12-year-old Hakushu, for lack of sufficient production capacity to meet demand.

The latest batches of these products will be shipped in June and September, and the company does not know when it will be able to resume sales, said Wednesday a spokeswoman. The other categories of Hibiki and Hakushu are not affected by the shortage.

The 17-year-old Hibiki had been honored by the movie “Lost in Translation” (2003), shot in Tokyo. American actor Bill Murray was promoting it with a slogan: “For relaxing times, make it Suntory time”.

The commercial production of whiskey in Japan dates back to the 1920s with the opening of the Yamazaki Distillery near Kyoto, thanks to the know-how reported from Scotland by a young student. But whiskey “made in Japan” has gained international renown only in recent years, winning prizes once reserved for its Irish or Scottish rivals.