by Tarquin Smyth-Munt

£99,750 : YAMAZAKI 35-YEAR JAPANESE WHISKY

Introduction

Whisky (or whiskey as Mr Paddy and Mr Yank incorrectly spell it) is one of my favourite drinks to round off the night at the local Gentleman’s Club before ordering my carriage home.

And as I always say “the more expensive the whisky, the more magnificent the flavour”. 

So I was happy to find this tender tipple as I was searching the spirits on Amazon – and I’m delighted to say, the Japs have got everything right – even the spelling!

Product Information

Type Single Malt
Alcohol Content 43% vol
Volume 700 ml
Brand Yamazaki
Country Japan
Age 35 years
Distillation Year 1970
Bottling Year 2006

Yamazaki History

The Yamazaki brand is owned by the Japanese company Suntory (coincidentally, I am the son of a Tory haw haw!).

Suntory was established in 1899 by Shinjiro Torii and has become one of the world’s leading manufacturers of beverages. It’s brands include Lucozade, Ribena and Jim Beam.

In 1923, Shinjiro Torii established The Yamazaki Distillery, which was Japan’s first malt whisky distillery and, to this day, is the oldest.

Yamazaki distillery

Product Review

The Yamazaki 35 year old single malt is an exceedingly rare whisky with only 200 bottles ever being released to the public.

Which means it carries a price value that keeps it out of the grubby filth-stained hands of the oiks and is reserved for those of more refined breeding (like myself).

I remove the bottle from the hardwood presentation box and bask in the Yamazaki’s aura of delightfulness. Holding the bottle, I feel privileged that I have both the money to afford this and the gentility to appreciate it.

It has a deep copper gold colour that reminds me of long autumn walks in the woods with mater, losing our way and having to call the helicopter to retrieve us.

From opening the lid to first pour, I savour the moments and swill the whisky around in my favourite glass to release to scents.

From the nose I pick up rich fruits of autumn and winter, maybe cherries or perhaps nuts. No…the best way describe it is old English fruit cake like the moist delectable stuff they serve up at Windsor.

I take my first sip and the palate is as rich as the nose. The fruits combine with wood, maybe a little spice and, could it be, coffee-flavoured chocolate. I finish the glass. The finish is long-lasting.

More Expensive Products

However, this is not Yamazaki’s most expensive whisky. That accolade goes to their 50 year old single malt, which fetched in excess of £235,000 at Sotheby’s Finest and Rarest Auction in Hong Kong. Incidentally, this was the highest price ever achieved by a whisky at auction and the most expensive Japanese whisky ever sold.

Yamazaki 50 year old single malt with black hardwood presentation box

More Modestly-Priced Products

For those of you with more modest means, look no further than the Yamazaki 25 year old single malt. This is only about £6000 a bottle, but you will not feel so superior as if you chose the 35.

Yamazaki 25 year old whisky

And Yamazaki have a history of looking after the working class, too, so if you are a pauper, the Yamazaki 12 year old single malt may be more palatable to your simple tastes. And at less than a grand, it is affordable to all.

Yamazaki 12 year old whisky

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