In November of 2014, critic Jim Murray made a bold move and named Suntory’s Yamazaki Sherry Cask 2013 the greatest whisky in the world. It was the first time since launching his influential Whiskey Bible in 2002 that a Japanese whisky reigned atop his list; in fact, not a single Scotch placed top five. The Yamazaki Sherry Cask 2013 scored 97.5 points out of 100 that year, and verged on “near indescribable genius,” Murray wrote. “If anyone wants to find out roughly what the first Macallan 10-Year-Old I had in 1975 tasted like, then grab a bottle of this.” According to Japan Times, only 18,000 bottles of the 2013 expression were made available to the general public. In secondhand auctions, they now sell for about $2,800 to $4,000.
As of February 1, Suntory is releasing the followup expression to the famed Yamazaki Sherry Cask whisky, which is set to hit shelves in United States. Vatted from over 100 malt whiskies made at Suntory, the Yamazaki Sherry Cask 2016 levarges many of the same barrels used in the champion 2013 blend, some of which are over 25 years old.
Suggested retail for the Yamazaki Sherry Cask 2016 is $300. But with only 5,000 bottles made available for the global market, found at select retailers, chances are that prices will quickly rise into the thousands, soon to make the expression a collector’s wet dream.
Tasting Notes: Deep, rich, sweet and sour, chocolate with hazelnuts