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Yamazaki has been passed for generations. In 2006 the distillery switched to a small pot still in order to produce a variety of high quality straight malts, with a depth and richness that could withstand long periods of aging.
Yamazaki single malts are legends. They are hard to find and not easy to buy when found. All of their Whiskies have won numerous prizes.
The 12YO Yamazaki is delicate and fruity, whereas the 18YO is darker with dried fruits, chocolate and Mizunara. Their 25YO is a rich, complex one with aromatic and bitter compontents.
The Distiller's Reserve is often referred to as the starting point of Yamazaki with red forest fruits and Mizunara.
The distillery is located at the foot of Mount Tennozan, in southwestern Kyoto. Surrounded by mountains, the site is often covered with a dense mist. The warm and humid environment is well suited for Whisky making.
Opening in 1923 under Shinjiro Torii, Yamazaki was Japan's first commercial Whisky distillery. In the first 10 years, the legendary Masataka Taketsuru managed Yamazaki, who was known to be the “Father of Japanese Whisky,” and the founder of Nikka Whisky.
The demand for Whisky from the Japanese army during the war was a turning point for Yamazaki. After the war, the US army became a big fan of Torii's Whisky. There are 8 types of stills in Yamazaki, with steel and wooden fermentation tanks.
The water from the Rikyu no mizu is still used today, which is famous for its unique natural structure. The casks used in Yamazaki are special, each having a different capacity and profile. Ex-Bourbon, Sherry, American virgin oak, and Mizunara are generally used for Whisky in the distillery.