Suntory’s announcement of their Hibiki Blender’s Choice Whisky may herald the return of the company to the whisky market. Recently, Suntory announced that they would be discontinuing their Hibiki 17-year-old-whisky, which many assumed meant the end was near for the Japanese brewing and distilling company. But on the tails of that announcement, Suntory released news of their new Blender’s Choice. According to Hasumi Ozawa, a public relations representative from Suntory, the blend will consist of carefully selected vintages selected by the Suntory team of expert blenders. Reportedly, that blend will include a few wine cask aged whiskies as well. The blend is available now in domestic Japanese markets and comes in 700ml bottles.
This shift in product for Suntory continues a trend in the whisky world. As new distilleries are coming onto market, releasing their young whiskies, the notion of aged expression whisky being the higher quality is being bucked. And larger distilleries are taking note. They joining in the fray, releasing their own no-age statement whiskies. Selling younger whiskies allows distilleries more freedom to experiment with different ingredients, flavors, and techniques.
An initial concern about this departure from tradition may have connoisseurs grinding their teeth and frothing at the mouth, but you can still trust in a history of exceptional distilling with companies like Suntory. A company that received the “World’s Best Blended Whisky” five times from the World Whiskies Awards won’t put out a subpar whisky. This new approach might mean that Suntory is rising from the flames.