Forget Pappy, an upcoming aged release from Japanese whisky house Suntory looks set to become this year’s unicorn bottle.
How limited is the release? Only 100 were made, and to get one, customers have from February 5-14 to enter a lottery in Japan. And this is not to win a bottle outright, merely the privilege of dropping ¥3.3 Million (just over $30 thousand, after tax) on the limited-edition whisky.
If that seems like an eye-popping price, it’s a relative bargain compared to the 50-year Yamazaki that auctioned for $343,000 in 2018.
As worldwide demand for Japanese Whisky has skyrocketed, some of the best bottles have become increasingly scarce in stores around the world. In 2018, Suntory halted sales of its beloved Hakushu 12 and Hibiki 17 altogether.
But this shortfall in availability may have actually been part of the inspiration for this new release.
Concerned that it hadn’t put out a new Yamazaki in some time, Suntory saw an opportunity to tap into its oldest whisky stock, according to Kengo Torii, Suntory’s Head of Whisky. Torii also noted to the Japan Times that he was younger than the whisky in this release.
Despite its age, “The flavor profile is still mellowing,” Suntory’s chief blender, Shinji Fukuyo, added.
For die-hard Japanese whisky lovers with five figures to spare, the clock is ticking to book your flights. Winners will be contacted at the end of February, and the ultra-rare bottles will ship to Japanese addresses by July — just in time for the Tokyo Olympics.