Shinjiro Torii, the father of Japanese Whisky founded Suntory in 1923 by opening the first distillery in Japan, called Yamazaki. Shinjiro, who started out as a pharmaceutical wholesaler and later wine importer had found his passion for Whisky after discovering the wonders of the ageing process of spirits.
The distillery and indeed the passion for Whisky has been passed down to Shinjiro’s second son, Keizo Saji, who had a bold vision, one where he saw the Japanese people falling in love with premium single malt Whisky and as such he embarked on a journey to introduce it to the market. Rapid economic growth of Japan in the 1970s helped him succeed. As Keizo who was never one to become complacent with the status quo he renovated the Yamazaki distillery in 1989, and outfitted it with both wooden and stainless steel wash backs, as well as directly and indirectly heated stills, thus better equipping the distillery to make a much wider range of single malt Whiskies. This was right before the golden age of premium Whiskies.
Keizo’s son, Singo Toriii, who had taken over a few years ago continues with the spirit of reinvention at the Yamazaki distillery, by switching to small pot still in 2006 in order to produce a variety of high quality straight malts with a depth and richness that could withstand long periods of ageing.
The Yamazaki 12YO Whisky is a pure malt Whisky, which uses 100% malt Whiskies of at least 12 years old. It’s aged in a mixture of American, Spanish and Japanese oak barrels. It’s fermented longer than usual in wooden washbacks, resulting in a creamier character.
Has been my absolute favorite since 2003. There are of course great new options, but this still tops with great balance of peat and bold distinctly Japanese flavor. just a drink. no need to have a meal or snacks or cigar with it. it stands alone and entertains well. It's a crowd pleaser. Most of my friends only know briefly about it but it always hits big and stands out. I will typically have 6-7 bottles of equal caliber out. This seems disappear first even over more familiar bottles.
Very good. Smooth and with hardly a bite at the end.
Light and smooth
Great whiskey that unfortunately is hard to find. This is the first Japanese whiskey I tasted 12 years ago and rate is as one of the best. I now have 29 different Japanese whiskies in my collection but bought this to have a bottle I could drink right away. Highly recommended!
This is it - unless I can get one older - then that is it...
Splendid in all respects.
Tasted at a "Friendsmas" party. That's one hell of a friend. Fruit forward with no signs of Peat on the finish. Smooth drinking over ice. Definitely on my wish list to add to my rotation.
This is the best scotch that we are not allowed to call scotch. I remember getting this first bottle for around $60, and now i am lucky to find it for $300. Even among the other Japanese whiskies, this one stands out.
I had the pleasure of trying this last night and noticed immediately how fruity and smooth in went down, very subtle smoke on the finish too but overall an easy sipping scotch. The taste could have been slightly influenced from the fact that I had two peat forward scotches before this, nevertheless it was a good one to end on.
Had this few times in Japan and got me headed down the whisky trail which ultimately lead me here to Flaviar. 12 yo is my go to... I pick up the 18 yo Narita whenever it’s available and enjoy that on special occasions! Awesome nose, taste and finish! One o& the best!
Nutty. Oily. Floral. Very smooth. Tropical fruits. Medium finish
Managed to get a bottle before it was on here for sale. It's a great smooth whiskey. Perfect whiskey to sip on for celebration. It lacks that harsh bite at the end that most whiskey has. I love it!
One of the smoothest I’ve had. Delicious, favorite Japanese! Been hard to find at standard liquor stores
this lives up to the hype hard to find smoky flavor its hard not to drink it besides a special occasion a definite must have... very smooth finish and delicious all around
Color: Light Amber
Palate: Sweet, dried pineapple
Finish: Smooth with a dried mango flavor.
Wow…love the coconut and butter taste...a hint of berries…long finish…really complex…just wow. Outstanding. The hardest part is the self restraint to avoid drinking it too fast since it was so hard to find.
Delicious - love the slight smoky flavor without ash. Love the 15 year old too.
Enjoyed it very much! 1st impression was sweet pepper and camp fire! As the night went on and the single pc of ice melted in, it became a mellow malt of candy wood and ever so slight cherry!
Nice balance of fruit with a little bit of smoke. One of my all time favorites.
Hard ronkonkoma find a better whiskey that tastes better than virtually every other scotch from Scotland.
Pretty solid. Lots of flavor. Kind of spicy but still had some smoothness. A tasting party favorite. Very enjoyable.
I wish I still smoked because his would pair nicely with some fine tobacco and a comfy leather chair.
Just an absolute delight, so so drinkable.
I love it. I loved it when I first had it five years ago at $80 a bottle, and I love it now at twice the price (or at much lower prices, when I find myself in Japan). Maybe this club will teach me to identify the various flavors, and at some point I'll write tasting notes that are actually a more useful guide. Maybe. But for now: "I love it" will have to do.
Excellent bottle. Tried at Deathmatch in Hell. Smooth, easy to sip.
This was my first foray into Japanese whisky. On tasting, at first I was surprised by its strength ... very hot and spicy. But as the taste lingered on my tongue it smoothed to perfection. This is a complex whisky that I don't think I fully appreciated, but I loved every bit.
Very smooth, slight sweet, fruit aroma, mild spice, fits right into the highland scotch tradition. Excellent whisky.
The sweet after taste of vanilla and the smoothness of the whiskey was fantastic
Nose is a 10, Palate a 9, pretty close to perfection
My go to whiskey. Enjoyable. A little hot for my taste neat but really nice with a splash of water or with a rock.
Good spice, that settles in to a smooth vanilla sweet flavor. Excellent whiskey very pleased.
I like it but only with a splash of water.
Awesome whiskey complex flavors change as you roll it around your mouth. Excellent finish leaves you wanting more
Love it, best balanced 12 yo
Amazing Whisky. So smooth it gets me in trouble.
Real smooth. Tasty.
Very fruity with a little bit of a burn at the end and honey finish
It's nice. It's smooth. It's fruity. It is a very friendly whiskey.
Not really worth the price tag in my opinion, but still a very good whisky. For the price I had to pay to get one bottle (€130) I could’ve gotten two solid 18yo or three other 12yo here in sweden. I think The Hakushu 12yo is a better whisky if you take the price of the bottle into consideration. Definately overhyped because of Yamazaki 18yo! But on the nose I can get some dries fruits, banana and if I water it down and let it breathe I can get a whiff of toffee. Palate is almost in the same line, sweet and a little bit spicy, but the further you get I feel it get’s to bitter for my taste, it’s like eating grape peel and that’s not really my cup of tea. I need to put some water in this to appreciate it more, and the water balance the experience in a good way. Finish is medium, compared to the Hakushu that has the longest and nicest finish I’ve had in a 12yo. Overhyped? Yes. Bur still a solid 8/10! Cheers!
There's huge hype around anything Japanese. I picked up my bottles way back before all the hype. I'm not the biggest fan of the 12 given the current price point. Sure, I'll drink it but I wouldn't lose sleep over it. Good whisky, just not $100+ good.
Fantastic 12 year old. Rich and matured nicely. Not overly forward with charred oak.
By far my favorite every day single malt. Not to smokey or sweet, perfect for relaxing and enjoying the sun.
Man, I just don't get this whiskey. Doesn't fall in line with my preferred flavor profiles.
Forget my waxing on with tasting notes. Simply -- WOW!
Woah.....what's with the markup on the price? If I wanted to pay auction prices, I'd just buy on Bottle Spot.
Nice dram! Great fruit aroma's, sweet at the start and finishes with a nice punch at end. Great choice to add to the collection.
Epitome of what Japanese Whisky can be!!
Smell: Reveals fruit and floral aroma.
Taste: Smooth with a slight rum note.
Nice experience. I enjoyed the chance at trying a highly rated Japanese Whisky. Very Scotch like.
Not quite my favorite, I prefer nikka as my favorites.
very good easy start and smooth finish. I could see myself sitting around sipping this with a great conversation
Smoother than expected.
As good as the finest 12-year Highland malts; competes well with 15 or 18 year Highland malts.
The difference between a 12-year Yamazaki and a Yamazaki with no age statement is profound. It's definitely worth the extra coin for the 12-year.
My fav of all time
This is, in my extremely humble opinion, the best whiskey I've ever had. It's smooth as thousand-thread count cotton sheets and as sweet as your high school sweetheart, only with way more kick. I'd trade my left pinkie for a lifetime supply.
This is a heavenly drink! Tasting experience just awesome!
A great addition to any bar for daily evening drinking. Great neat or mizuwari
Excellent whiskey, makes me wish I could find the sherry cask. Subtle smoke with honey and everything else you would expect from a good Japanese whisky.
Pretty tasty. Definitely sweet.
If you wanna tray, imagine a younger samurai, brave and strong. Great strong flavor with fruits. But if you drink so fast, you can not smell and taste the oak and rice.