Beam Suntory: The House of Suntory welcomes the implementation of Japanese Whisky labelling standards by the Japan Spirits & Liqueurs Makers Association

Sample article from our Food & Beverage

NEW YORK , April 8, 2024 (press release) –

Suntory confirms adherence to JSLMA standards for Japanese Whisky, ensuring authenticity and integrity. The House of Suntory leads in protecting and promoting the category, with all exported products meeting strict production and labelling criteria.

Key Highlights:

* JSLMA set new standards for Japanese Whisky in 2021

* The House of Suntory pioneers Japanese Whisky since 1923

* Suntory ensures all exported whiskies are 100% distilled, matured, and bottled in Japan

Suntory confirms all its exported Japanese Whiskies will meet the official designation established by the JSLMA. The founding house of Japanese Whisky and pioneering force within the industry says the move will safeguard the reputation of the Japanese Whisky category and secure confidence among consumers and trade.

The House of Suntory welcomes the voluntary designation of ‘Japanese Whisky’ established by the Japan Spirits & Liqueurs Makers Association (JSLMA) which will usher in a new era of transparency within the industry that champions the culture and craftsmanship that have vaulted Japanese Whisky to the top of the whisky world.

In 2021, JSLMA announced a new set of standards to curb the spread of products misleadingly labelled as ‘Japanese Whisky.’ Labelling standards were enacted on April 1, 2021 , with a three-year transition period for members of the association to comply. This action was an important first step toward protecting authentic Japanese Whisky, which has grown into one of the most prestigious spirits categories in the world.

As the founding house and pioneer of Japanese Whisky, The House of Suntory confirmed that it will continue to take a leadership role in protecting and increasing awareness for the category through ongoing consumer and trade education initiatives about what properly constitutes a Japanese Whisky.

Since the establishment of the Yamazaki Distillery — Japan’s oldest malt whisky distillery — in 1923, The House of Suntory has been crafting award-winning spirits such as Yamazaki, Hakushu, and Hibiki whiskies and played a pivotal role in elevating the category to new heights. The House of Suntory is proud to confirm that all exported Suntory Japanese Whisky products are 100% distilled, matured, and bottled in Japan and compliant with the new production and labelling standards. The brands include The Yamazaki Single Malt Japanese Whisky, The Hakushu Single Malt Japanese Whisky, The Chita Single Grain Japanese Whisky, Hibiki Blended Japanese Whisky, Toki Blended Japanese Whisky, and Suntory Whisky “Kakubin” Blended Japanese Whisky.

“As a pioneer and leading company dedicated to authenticity, we believe the designation will help uphold the integrity of and further vitalize the category. This is a milestone not just for Suntory, but for our entire industry, as well as being a great day for whisky lovers globally,” shares the President of The House of Suntory , Masaki Morimoto . “Suntory is proud to be one of the producers for whom all of their officially exported whiskies available are 100% compliant. Tradition, quality, and innovation are at the heart of everything we do, and we are proud to continue showcasing these through artful distilling and blending.”

With its rapidly growing popularity, a broad range of whiskies have come to market without an agreed definition of Japanese Whisky, which has led to uncertainty among whisky drinkers about the provenance of some of the spirits they enjoy. Respected international competitions are already adhering to the new JSLMA standard with the San Francisco World Spirits Competition and International Spirits Challenge aligning their definitions for Japanese Whisky.

The House of Suntory believes that these guidelines preserve the creative liberties that have allowed Japanese Whisky distillers to innovate and continuously improve their offerings, while ensuring that all whiskies labelled Japanese Whisky are produced there to safeguard the integrity of the category.

To achieve the designation of Japanese Whisky, a brand must uphold the following:

Water:

Water used in production must be extracted in Japan .

Production:

Saccharification, fermentation, and distillation must be carried out at a distillery in Japan .

Distillation:

Must be distilled to less than 95% ABV.

Aging:

Spirits must be aged in wooden casks (of no more than 700 litres) in Japan for a minimum of three years.

Packaging:

Bottling must take place in Japan .

Strength:

Bottled spirit must be at least 40% ABV.

Coloring:

Plain caramel coloring (E150) can be used.

Suntory Whisky brands that comply with the Japanese Whisky labelling standards are the following:

The Yamazaki Single Malt Japanese Whisky [*]

The Hakushu Single Malt Japanese Whisky [*]

The Chita Single Grain Japanese Whisky [*]

Hibiki Blended Japanese Whisky [*]

Toki Blended Japanese Whisky [*]

Suntory Whisky “Kakubin” Blended Japanese Whisky [*]

Suntory Old Blended Japanese Whisky

Suntory Royal Blended Japanese Whisky

Suntory Special Reserve Blended Japanese Whisky

About The House of Suntory

Since 1923, Suntory has been renowned as a pioneer of Japanese Whisky for its House of Master Blenders and for their Art of Blending. Founder Shinjiro Torii built Japan's first malt whisky distillery in Yamazaki, and the Suntory legacy continued with Torii's son and Suntory's second Master Blender, Keizo Saji , who continued to establish distilleries including the Hakushu Distillery .

As the generations of Suntory's master blenders carry on, Suntory Whisky remains committed to heritage and innovation. The House of Suntory has been named four-time Distiller of the Year at the International Spirits Challenge in London, UK (2010, 2012, 2013, 2014). Suntory Whiskies are subtle, refined and complex. The portfolio includes Yamazaki, Hakushu, Chita, Kakubin, Hibiki, Suntory Whisky Toki and Ao. The House of Suntory portfolio also offers Roku Japanese Gin and Haku Japanese Vodka. Created from Japanese ingredients by the master artisans at the House of Suntory , Roku Gin and Haku Vodka represent the nature and spirit of Japan .

About Beam Suntory

As a world leader in premium spirits, Beam Suntory inspires the brilliance of life by delivering great consumer experiences through its world-class portfolio of brands. Known for its craftsmanship of premium whiskies, including Jim Beam®, Maker's Mark®, Basil Hayden® and Knob Creek® bourbons; Japanese whiskies, including Yamazaki®, Hakushu®, Hibiki® and Toki®; and leading Scotch brands including Teacher's, Laphroaig® and Bowmore®, Beam Suntory also produces leading brands such as Courvoisier® cognac, Tres Generaciones®, El Tesoro® and Hornitos® tequila, Roku and Sipsmith® gin, Canadian Club® whisky, and is a world leader in ready-to-drink cocktails, with brands like -196 and On The Rocks™ Premium Cocktails.

A global company with approximately 6,000 employees in more than 30 countries, one of Beam Suntory's core values is Growing for Good and through its Proof Positive sustainability strategy, the company has committed to ambitious goals and investments to promote environmental sustainability in its operations, ensure the company has a positive impact on the communities where employees live and work, and programs to inform consumers as they make choices about drinking. Headquartered in New York City , Beam Suntory is a subsidiary of Suntory Holdings Limited of Japan . For more information on Beam Suntory , its brands, and its commitment to social responsibility, please visit www.beamsuntory.com and www.drinksmart.com.

Footnote:

[*] Brands available in global markets

[Category: Liquor, Wine & Beer, Beverage & Tobacco]

Source: Beam Suntory Inc.

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