IM Bottle Shop offers spectacular selection of anniversary whiskies
The IM Bottle Shop at Bonnie & Wild have had an exceptionally busy few weeks here as a series of rare and exclusive whiskies have come to market. And while Bonnie & Wild always has an eye for on Scottish food and drink, we can’t help but notice the demand for Japan’s House of Suntory’s special 100th Anniversary releases.
The production of Japanese whisky originally began as an attempt to recreate the style of Scotch whisky in the 19th century, and House of Suntory have played a pivotal role in pioneering Japanese whisky since 1923.
To celebrate their 100th Anniversary, House of Suntory have released a limited edition 12yo Yamazaki single malt, limited edition 12yo Hakushu single malt, limited edition 18yo Yamazaki Mizunara single malt and limited edition 18yo Hakushu Peated single malt.
The whiskies were created in honour of the centenary of the Yamazaki Distillery, Japan’s first and oldest malt whisky distillery, which was founded by Shinjiro Torii in 1923, and which went on to become the great Suntory.
The 18 Yamazaki Mizunara single malt (£1600) showcases the rare, distinctive beauty of Mizunara oak, considered the signature “enhancer” of Yamazaki whisky and which provides it its unique Japanese character and elegance. Rich and elegant, this is a very, very special whisky with flavours of cinnamon and other spices balance against a delicate and pleasing fruitiness. Like its extraordinary elder sibling, the Yamazaki 12 single malt (£200) also shows off the Mizunara oak, while flavours of peach, pineapple, citrus and clove come through on the nose.
The Hakushu 18 Peated Malt (£1250) expression comprises a curated section of single malts in honour of Yamazaki’s centenary. The Hakushu Distillery’s blenders work with peat, and utilise the soft mountain waters, filtered through ancient granite rocks, to give this beautiful dram delicate flavours of pear, orange, gentle smoke and honeyed patisserie.
The Hakushu 12 single malt (£200) is the fourth Japanese whisky that IM Bottle Shop has in stock as part of the series of whiskies to celebrate Yamazaki’s centenary. Like the older peated version, the 12yo retains the gentle smokiness and fruit with a greater emphasis on fresh herbs seeping through.
Slightly slightly closer to home, the spectacular Glenfiddich 29yo Grand Yozakura (£1500) has proved another big hit in the IM Bottle Shop. The Grand Yozakura is the first single malt Scotch whisky to be finished in rare Japanese Awamori casks. Awamori is a distilled rice spirit that is commonly aged in clay pots that are kept cool in underground storerooms. For the Grand Yozakura, Glenfiddich matured their 29-year-old whisky in American oak casks at the Glenfiddich distillery before finishing the whisky in the Awamori cask.
The nose offers zingy herbal aromas along with zesty and ripe fruits, caramelised almonds and cinnamon. The palate is layered with notes of toasted oak, creamy vanilla toffee-coated green apples and silky tannins with an earthy lingering finish.
Alongside these and other very special releases, the IM Bottle Shop stocks an extensive range of whiskies and craft spirits, provides expert advice, and hosts regular brand activations and tastings events. If there’s a particular dram or spirit they don’t have on their shelf then please just ask – Dillon Barrie and his team regularly add new products, and have extensive cellars and stock behind the scenes. If you would like to purchase one of these rare whiskies mentioned above, or keep up to date about what new fine and rare whiskies and craft spirits that are coming into the IM Bottle Shop please email the IM Bottle Shop manager Dillon for more information.