Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Hakushu & Yamazaki Single Casks for Whisky Shop W. 4th Anniversary

Post by Stefan Van Eycken, Tokyo
Photo courtesy of Whisky Shop W.
We had already picked up rumours last year, in the run-up to the 3rd anniversary of Whisky Shop W. (Suntory’s flagship whisky store, located in their HQ building in Osaka) that it was getting harder and harder – even for them! – to arrange single cask bottlings. Well, they weren’t kidding. To ‘celebrate’ their 4th anniversary, they have just released two single casks - a Yamazaki and a Hakushu as usual – in … 190ml sample bottles! Whatever the reason for this decision, it is clear now that single cask bottlings are no longer a priority for Suntory – which probably explains why (in the wake of Karuizawa and Hanyu) prices for old Yamazaki and Hakushu single casks – from the days when they were everywhere and cheap, but relatively unknown and unloved – keep rising on the secondary market.

The 4th anniversary releases can only be purchased as a set, i.e. one of each. The Yamazaki is drawn from a Spanish oak ex-sherry cask (vintage 2003, 55%abv), the Hakushu from a White oak hogshead (vintage 2000, 60%abv). Price for a set of two 190ml-sample bottles is 6,000 yen. More than a few people – when we told them about these new sample bottle releases  – wondered if this was a deliberate strategy to make certain Japanese whiskies (from very much active distilleries) seem rarer than they really are. Time will tell…


Guillaume Barth said...

Arg. I really want to taste them, especially the Hakushu.
So bad i found no way to get W.Shop releases exported.

For me it's not too bad to get 190ml bottles. At least some people will maybe be more willing to drink them instead of reselling them.

Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...

Another best young sherry cask by Yamazaki!!!

Anonymous said...

Hakushu was outstanding and one of the best young single cask to date! Buy it if you can find it ;-)