Suntory Yamazaki Distillery @ Yamazaki, Japan

0

Category : Japan, Travel

SAM_9776

Suntory Yamazaki Distillery

Read about the full itinerary: Japan Trip 2016: 10D9N Autumn in Kyoto, Osaka, Nara & Arima

SAM_9537

Yamazaki is the birthplace of Japanese whisky, which is also the place where Suntory Yamazaki Distillery located. As a whisky lover, this is one of the must do while we were in Kyoto – a pit stop in Yamazaki. We planned and made our reservation very early, few months before our trip in order to secure ourselves a seat to join and follow the tour. Yep, reservation is highly recommended or else you may not be able to follow their distillery tour and whisky tasting. The tour is around 80 minutes at a fee of ¥ 1,000

SAM_9539

SAM_9544

After settling with the entrance fee, we rushed into the hall to join the other members (coz we were late by minutes, phew). This guided tour is fully in Japanese. For foreigner, there will be the audio guide in English, French and Chinese.

SAM_9553

The whisky making process is started with mashing process, by germinating and drying carefully the selected two-rowed barley to produce malt. It is then finely ground and mixed with water in a mash run where the enzymes break down the starch into sugar. It is then filtered to obtain the clear wort. We were told that the water is the key factor in determining the quality of the whisky. Gifted with the lush natural setting over here, Yamazaki is praised for its pristine water.

SAM_9556

The wort is transferred to a wash back and yeast is added into it. Fermentation process is then started, converting the wort into alcohol and carbon dioxide. Yeast selection is also very important where it will yield the desired and distinctive flavours.

SAM_9564

The wash produced during the fermentation will transferred to pot stills for distillation process, two rounds to produce “new make”. Suntory has a variety of pot stills in different shapes and sizes depend on the distinctive flavours they want their whiskies to be. It’s amazing seeing the distillery has so many types of pot stills. When I first entered to this area, I thought I will get drunk by just inhaling. So so so aromatic!

SAM_9573

SAM_9586

In the aging process, the “new make” is placed in the casks. Every single detail (size, shape, material, storage location of the cask, climate) is being taken care of as it may cause the “new make” mature differently. It will be ended with the vatting and blending process to create the new products by combining component whiskies.

SAM_9594

SAM_9598

SAM_9601

Cask for Japanese first whisky in 1924 is still here!!!

SAM_9589

SAM_9619

So tranquilizing. We took a minute to stop and inhale the fresh air here. This pure mountain water is used in whisky making process.

SAM_9624

Moving on to the whisky tasting. We were served with 4 glasses of whisky namely White Oak Cask Malt, Wine Cask Malt and 2 Yamazaki Single Malt Whisky. We were taught with the colours, flavours, scent and finish during this session. Also, we were taught how to make the Highball using the last glass of whisky and this alcohol drink is what Japanese loves drinking in izakaya.

SAM_9625

SAM_9626

SAM_9628

SAM_9632

SAM_9650

SAM_9669

SAM_9676

SAM_9682

Now I know what makes this highball so delicious. Besides that whisky itself, the secret is the soda, made with the water source from this place! They have this Yamazaki Soda for at sold ¥108 per bottle. I wish I could transport some home but can’t coz that will be too heavy for my luggage.

SAM_9703

Ok, now… Buy buy buy in the Souvenir Shop

SAM_9706

SAM_9712

We moved to the museum downstairs after getting some souvenirs. Do take note that reservation is required for the museum (FOC) now if you didn’t join the tour.

SAM_9715

SAM_9725

SAM_9745

SAM_9747

We went to the tasting counting to get what we wanna try. They offer about 70 varieties of whisky here and this is the place where you can find the unusual vintage component or raw whiskies and unblended whiskies.

SAM_9760

Hibiki 21 Years Old and The Yamazaki 18 years old at ¥ 600 each. A bit too kiam for the Hibiki 30 Years Old and Yamazaki 25 years old, so we are all very regret now.

SAM_9763

SAM_9767

SAM_9691

SAM_9764

Suntory Yamazaki Distillery
大阪府三島郡島本町山崎5-2-1
〒618-0001
Opening hours:
Daily from 9.30am to 5pm
Closed during New Year’s holiday and plant shutdowns
Make Reservation here

Getting there:
From Kyoto, take the train from JR Kyoto Station to JR Yamazaki Station which takes about 15 minutes. It is about 10 minutes’ walk from JR Yamazaki Station.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

Post a comment

WP Like Button Plugin by Free WordPress Templates