A few days ago, Suntory announced the release of the Yamazaki Heavily Peated 2013 edition. It will be a Japan-only release, and will go on sale on April 23rd. Bottled at 48% abv and priced at about 9,000 JPY, a mere 3,500 bottles will be available and if the recent Hakushu Sherry Cask experience is anything to go by, it won't be around for very long.
I happened to be at the distillery - doing research for a forthcoming book - when the imminent release of this Heavily Peated was announced and fans of Yamazaki will be happy to know Suntory is in the process of adding 4 more stills to the site there. These will be placed in a different building, seeing as there's no more room in the current stillhouse (which already holds 6 pairs of stills). In addition, a new warehouse is under construction at their Ohmi site in Shiga prefecture, where the bulk of Suntory's malt and practically all of its grain whisky is matured. It seems like things are going really well for Suntory and, indeed, for whisky in Japan in general. It's a big gamble, of course, since decisions made now will only prove valid ten years down the line, but the fact that the people at Suntory are confident enough to make these commitments show how vibrant the whisky scene is at the moment.