08.10.2022: Yamazaki-55 is Japan’s oldest and most expensive whiskey to date.
Discover why the Yamazaki 55 is so popular?
A single bottle of liquor costs 0.78 Million USD! It may appear strange at first, but it is true. The more surprising aspect is that people place bids to purchase this rare variety of whiskey and want to pay the highest price possible. We’re talking about Yamazaki-55, a Japanese whiskey. The number 55 indicates that it has taken at least 55 years to prepare.
Yamazaki-55 is the oldest and most expensive Japanese whiskey ever produced. According to the Sotheby’s website, which auctions off the world’s most expensive artwork, jewellery, and luxury items, the highest bid for a 750 ml bottle of Yamazaki in an auction was $ 780,000.
According to a Forbes article, the retail base price of this whiskey is estimated to be around $ 60,000. Beam Suntory is the name of the company that manufactures it. In 2020, this whiskey was introduced for the first time. Only 100 bottles were made available in the Japanese market at the time via a lottery system. In 2021, another 100 bottles were produced for the rest of the world. This whiskey is made from high-end single malts.
The main reason it is so expensive is that it is only available in very limited quantities around the world. However, it is critical to understand what is in this whiskey, as a result of which people are willing to spend around 1 million usd to sample a few sips of it.
The use of a 200-year-old tree’s wood!
Suntory’s Yamazaki Distillery, Japan’s oldest brewery, produces this whiskey. Whiskey is aged for years in casks before it is ready for consumption. This cask has a significant impact on the flavour, colour, and texture of whiskey. Yamazaki-55 is also kept in a special type of cask known as Mizunara Casks. It is made from the Mizunara tree‘s wood. This wood is extremely rare. According to experts, the tree must be at least 200 years old in order to produce Mizunara Cask. Mizunara wood is so unique that after many years of storing wine in it, the flavour is completely different from wine stored in casks made from common usa wood.
Not only the wine itself, but also its packaging
The first shipment of the distinctive Mizunara liquor was made in 1960. Its manufacturers prepared and sold it in such small quantities that its value has skyrocketed on its own. Yamazaki-55 is beloved by wine connoisseurs for its rare sandalwood aroma and fruity sweet and smoky flavours derived from Mizunara Cask. Furthermore, the historical legacy of the company that produced it makes a bottle of this whiskey a rare collector’s first choice. Actually, the bottle of this whiskey comes in a unique box. This box is also made of Mizunara wood from Japan. The box is painted black with the Japanese lacquer technique, which gives it a completely different lustre.
Why Japanese whiskey?
Yamazaki 55’s creator, Santori, describes it as a tribute to the passage of time. According to the company’s website, this rare whiskey was created by the founder of Santori, Shinjiro Tori, and his son Keizo Sazi. Actually, Keizo was carrying out a childhood dream of his father, Shinjiro. The goal was to create a limited edition ‘liquid gold‘ that embodied the quintessential Japanese feel and lifestyle.
It is important to note here that, in addition to Scotland, Japan is now regarded as one of the best whiskey-producing countries in the world. Connoisseurs of alcohol all over the world have recently begun to prefer Japanese whiskey over Scotch. Wine experts point out that Japanese whiskey is largely a refined version of Scotch, with many of the ingredients sourced from Scotland. One of the reasons for the high demand for Japanese whiskey is that it is available in very limited quantities. Yamazaki-12 is widely available in the US market, with prices ranging from $300 to $350 USD.