House of Suntory introduces the Yamazaki Sherry Cask 2016

 

Screen Shot 2016-02-07 at 3.36.49 PMAfter being named as the best whisky in the world by Jim Murray’s revered Whisky Bible, the Yamazaki Single Malt Sherry Cask from 2013 gets revived for a 2016 release. Aging in sherry casks has been a tradition for the House of Suntory since opening in 1924. Chief Blender Shinji Fukuyo personally visits Spain to handpick the oak used to create the casks and oversees the entire aging process, which takes three years before it’s shipped to the distillery. Blends for this batch were chosen from more than 100 malt whiskies to develop the complex flavor and have been aged for two more years than its 2013 predecessor. Fukuyo recommends the spirit to be served neat.

“On its own, there is a clear and fresh top note. A raisin-like, deep sweetness that is both elegant and rich. You immediately taste the complexity of this liquid and the fine balance of maturity and delicateness. Served on the rocks, the flavour opens as you begin to taste the Delaware grape-like sweetness and its slightly bitter acidity. When cut with water, there is a soft sweetness that blossoms like the first apples of the harvest.”

The Yamazaki Sherry Cask 2016 will be limited to just 5,000 bottles globally and is available at select stores now.

Japan’s desire to preserve youth continues with collagen and protein fortified “anti-aging beer”

Beer_YouBeauty

Audrey Magazine:

The desire to preserve one’s youth or to achieve one’s ideal of physical perfection is now in full swing more than ever. Although plastic surgery is more common in Asia, I can see our fair share in my own backyard. With the recent viral Kylie Jenner lip challenge, it makes me think how much more obsessed society is becoming to look like the celebrities they admire (even though many of them are anything but admirable).

Recently, we showed you Japan and Korea’s beauty trends to achieve a younger look. However, makeup and beauty products are simply not enough. It seems that Japan is quite adamant about maintaining a youthful appearance because now, you can find anti-aging properties in their beer.

Japanese brewery, Suntory, produced a new beer called “Precious.” It contains collagen, a protein that is believed to contain anti-aging properties. This protein is what gives skin elasticity and it decreases as we get older; this is why we get wrinkles and our skin isn’t as… perky (yikes). Japanese women believe that using and ingesting collagen products will make their wrinkles magically disappear. Quite a smart move there, Suntory brewery.

There has yet to be studies that prove this beer’s anti-aging claims are true, but it’s certainly a smart marketing gimmick to attract women. I’m not sure if I buy into Suntory’s claims, but since it’s beer, it wouldn’t hurt to give it a try.

Courtesy of fooddiggity.com.

The Scottish mother of Japanese whisky

Rita Taketsuru

BBC:

Scotch enthusiasts found it hard to swallow recently when a Japanese single malt was named the world’s best whisky. But the fact that a Scot played a key role in establishing the hard stuff in Japan may make that news more palatable for some.

Jessie Roberta Cowan, from Kirkintilloch, had little idea how much her life was going to change when a young Japanese man took up lodgings at her family home in 1918.

Masataka Taketsuru had come to Scotland to study the art of whisky-making, taking up chemistry at Glasgow University before becoming an apprentice at Longmorn Distillery in Speyside and later at Hazelburn Distillery in Campbeltown.

Masataka and Jessie – who was known as Rita – soon formed a strong bond and on 8 January 1920 they married in a Glasgow registry office.

It was the beginning of a long journey that was to end with Rita becoming known as the mother of Japanese whisky.

Masataka TaketsuruMasataka Taketsuru came to Scotland to learn the art of whisky-making

Shortly after their marriage, Rita followed her husband back to Japan as he pursued his dream of building his own distillery.

By 1923 he was in Kyoto, working for Kotobukiya – later to become Japanese drinks giant Suntory – tasked with building Japan’s first genuine whisky plant at Yamazaki. A decade later, he prepared to start up his own distillery at Yoichi, marking the beginnings of what was to become major Japanese drinks business Nikka.

Rita’s role in helping Masataka produce his first whisky in 1940 cannot be underestimated, according to Nikka Whisky international sales manager Emiko Kaji.

Rita played a very important role in Masataka’s life work,” she said.

She provided not only moral support but also financial support when they had a difficult time.

“She made every effort to adopt herself to the Japanese culture and stay with him all the time, even during the world war.”

Mr Kaji added: “It is said that she was good at Japanese cooking and served traditional Japanese dishes. Her income from teaching English and piano sometimes helped the household. Rita’s network through the job also connected Masataka with other investors to establish his own company. Masataka could not have overcome a lot of difficulties without loyal support by Rita.”

Nikka Whisky Distillery at YoichiThe Nikka distillery is still operating in Yoichi

Yoichi was a world away from the bustling city of Kyoto. Based on the northernmost main island of Japan, Hokkaido, it offered a much more isolated way of life.

But Masataka saw it as the perfect place to build a distillery.

Colin Ross, from the Nikka-owned Ben Nevis distillery at Fort William, said: “He chose Yoichi because it looked a lot like Scotland, felt like Scotland and the temperature was much the same as here.”

Rita launched herself into Japanese culture, speaking only Japanese and following local traditions, but her life was to change during World War Two.

Her great-nephew Harry Hogan, from Newton Mearns in East Renfrewshire, said: “I think during the second world war it was very difficult because a lot of the Japanese turned against them – against her particularlyThe story goes that even her own (adopted Japanese) daughter turned against her slightly because of the fact that she was British.”

Masataka and Rita TaketsuruMasataka and Rita married in Scotland in 1920

 

According to Urs Matthias Zachmann, head of Asian Studies at the University of Edinburgh, the Japanese authorities also made life difficult for her.

He said: “Their house was searched because they had an antenna on the rooftop and the special police thought that she might be a spy, contacting British or Russian forces, whatever. It has been said that the company workers tried to speak on her behalf and defend her.”

But Rita stayed put and the Yoichi distillery soon prospered as the Japanese appetite for genuine whisky grew in the face of a wartime import ban.

Rita died at the age of 63 in 1961, but her legacy lives on in Yoichi, whose main street is named Rita Road.

She is also far from forgotten in her adopted nation as a whole. The story of her relationship with the man who became known as the father of Japanese whisky has just hit the small screen in Japan.

TV drama Massan is a fictionalised account of Rita’s travels to Japan and Masataka’s attempts to begin the Nikka Whisky distilling company, which is now owned by drinks group Asahi. The show has quite literally lifted spirits at the business.

Nikka Whisky International Sales Manager Emiko Kaji said: “We have been experiencing a kind of ‘Nikka boom’ or ‘whisky boom’ since the NHK drama Massan started at the end of September. Our domestic sales are growing by almost 20% and the number of the visitors to Yoichi distillery in 2014 increased by 50% compared with the previous year.”

Masataka died in August 1979 at the age of 85 and was laid to rest beside his wife in Yoichi. Rita’s life may have ended in 1961 – but for many Japanese, her spirit lives on.

Whiskey shaved ice: A frozen treat for adults in Kyoto

WK 1

RocketNews 24:

 

One of the most popular ways to cool yourself off during a muggy Japanese summer is with a bowl of shaved ice, known as kakigoori. However, not everyone has the sweet tooth or enduring connection to their inner child that’s necessary to enjoy the brightly colored, syrupy sweet frozen treat that’s usually flavored like strawberry, melon, or lemon.

Thankfully, if you’re looking for a chilled dessert that’s a little more adult, a restaurant in Kyoto has just the thing: shaved ice with whiskey.

During the summer, many high-rises in Japan open beer gardens on their roofs. Soradoko in Kyoto, which is open from now until October, decided to shake up its menu a little bit, and instead of focusing on beer, makes whiskey highballs its specialty.

 

WK 2

 

This, of course, means Soradoko has to keep a lot of whiskey on hand, which has in turn led to it getting a little creative with whiskey shaved ice. Made with either Yamazaki or Shirasu, two of Suntory’s best-known brands, both the Mizore Yamazaki and Mizore Shirasu come with lemon, Soradoko’s own mildly sweet syrup, and soda water.

 

WK 1

 

Aside from its 1,200 yen (US$11.90) whiskey shaved ice, Soradoko also has a variety of cocktails in its Fruit Jar series. The flavors offered are made with tropical fruits from Miyazaki Prefecture, such as mango and hyuganatsu citrus.

 

WK 3

 

Soradoko isn’t strictly for drinkers, as there’s food on the menu too. The restaurant is managed by the same company as the Tsukada Nojo chain of izakaya pubs, and there’s even some crossover between the menu, such as flat-grilled Miyazaki Jitokko chicken.

 

WK 4

 

Restaurant information
Soradoko / 空床
Address: Kyoto-fu, Kyoto-to, Nakagyo-ku, Sanjodori Kawaramachi Higashi-iri, Nakajimacho 110, Sanjo Forum Building rooftop
京都府京都市中京区三条通河原町東入中島町110 三条フォーラムビル屋上
Open 5 p.m.-midnight

Link

Suntory to release new beer designed specifically for consumption with Japanese food

RocketNews 24:

l_11949-1

There’s been a lot of research into the mystery of umami, the mild, pleasing savory flavour that’s said to exist at the heart of Japanese cuisine. Often referred to as “the fifth taste”, alongside sweet, sour, salty and bitter, umami was first discovered by a Japanese professor and only officially recognized as a proper scientific term in 1985. Now, almost thirty years later, the delicate flavor is finally set to meet its perfect partner in a beer called Wazen (lit. Japanese meal). Due for release on April 8, the beer is being billed as “the beer for Japanese food”.

main_cointents

Developed for customers who like to enjoy a beer with dinner in the comfort of their homes, the drink is specifically designed to be enjoyed with washoku, traditional Japanese food. It uses a special blend of five carefully selected malt varieties, including roasted malts and diamond malts, giving it a delicate umami flavour which is said to enhance the flavour of Japanese cuisine and make it more delicious.

main_visual

The beer has an alcohol content of 3.5% and is brewed in 100% spring water. Until mid-March, visitors to the Suntory brand site who fill out an online survey have the chance to win one of 11,000 free six-packs.

beer_beer

It’s still a few months before we’ll truly know if the beer really does “add delight to your dining experience” but we’re intrigued to find out. We’ll definitely be sitting down for a home-cooked Japanese meal and pouring one of these into a nice chilled glass on April 8!

Source: IT MediaSuntory

Check out this link:

Suntory to release new beer designed specifically for consumption with Japanese food

Link

Jim Beam and Maker’s Mark acquired by Suntory (Japan) in $13.62 billion deal

jim beam japan

ASSOCIATED PRESS:
The maker of classic American whiskeys Jim Beam and Maker’s Mark has agreed to be acquired by a Japanese company in a $13.62 billion deal that would create the third largest global premium spirits business.

Shares of Beam Inc. rose 24 percent on Monday after it said that it agreed to be purchased by Suntory Holdings Ltd., a Japanese beverage company. The combined company would have annual sales of more than $4.3 billion.

The deal follows other recent acquisitions in the alcohol industry, including Anheuser-Busch InBev’s $20.1 billion deal last year to buy the other half of Mexican brewer Grupo Modelo that it didn’t already own.

It also comes at a time when the taste for bourbon — a type of American whisky that is made primarily of corn and typically distilled in Kentucky — continues to grow domestically and abroad.

In the U.S., sales volume for bourbon and Tennessee whiskeys such as Jack Daniels has grown 26 percent over the past decade, according to the Distilled Spirits Council, and industry group. Exports of U.S. whiskeys has grown to roughly $1 billion last year, more than double what it was a decade ago.

Demand is so robust that Beam last year even considered reducing the alcohol content for Maker’s Mark because of a supply shortage. The company scrapped the idea after a backlash by fans of the higher-end bourbon.

We’re basically in the middle of a global whiskey renaissance,” said Frank Coleman, a spokesman for the Distilled Spirits Council.

Suntory and Beam already had a relationship. Suntory distributes Beam products in Japan and has a portfolio of spirits with whiskies, including Yamazaki and Hakushu as well as Midori liqueur and other beverages. And Beam, which is based in Deerfield, Ill., distributes Suntory’s products in Singapore and other Asian markets.

Suntory President and Chairman Nobutada Saji said in a statement that the acquisition will help Suntory further its global growth. In recent years, Suntory has also purchased French beverage maker Orangina Schweppes Group and GlaxoSmith Kline’s Lucozade and Ribena drinks.

Beam spokesman Clarkson Hine said for now, the deal will result in few changes for fans of Beam’s bourbons. He also said that Beam, which was spun off as a stand-alone liquor company in 2011 from conglomerate Fortune Brands Inc., will continue with its current management.

It’s business as usual,” Hine said, noting that Suntory has indicated it wants the company to “keep doing what we’re doing.”

Allen Adamson, managing director of Landor Associates, a New York-based branding firm, said Beam can gain a competitive advantage from being part of bigger company with deeper pockets. He said that ownership by a foreign company shouldn’t hurt the All-American images of Beam’s brands.

The trick is to maintain its authenticity, and not muck with the core elements,” he said.

Suntory will pay $83.50 per share, a 25 percent premium to Beam’s Friday closing price of $66.97. The companies put the deal’s value at about $16 billion, including debt.

Suntory plans to fund the deal with available cash and fully committed financing from The Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ. Both companies’ boards unanimously approved the transaction, which is targeted to close in the second quarter.

The deal needs approval from Beam Inc. stockholders.

Shares of Beam rose $16.14 to $83.11.

Check out this link:

Jim Beam and Maker’s Mark acquired by Suntory (Japan) in $13.62 billion deal

Link

Japanese Whisky: How and why Suntory is taking over

Murray

There’s a new name taking the world of whisky by storm, and you might be surprised by its provenance. It isn’t a Scottish name, or an Irish name or a Kentuckian name — it’s Suntory Japanese Whisky.

You might recognize Suntory as the three-time winner of “Distiller of the Year” at the International Spirits Challenge. You might recognize them as the makers of the Yamazaki, Hakushu and Hibiki lines of whisky. You might even recognize them as the luxury whisky brand Bill Murray did some shilling for in “Lost in Translation.”

So, what makes Japanese whisky different from Scotch?

Check out this link:

Japanese Whisky: How And why Suntory is taking over

japanese-whiskey