April 12 2024  |  Spirits & Tobacco

House of Suntory launches inaugural TR-exclusive collection

By GTR Magazine Staff

The 2024 Kogei Collection includes two whiskies: the Yamazaki Peated Malt Spanish Oak and the Hakushu Peated Malt Spanish Oak. Both are now available at select airport locations worldwide

The House of Suntory, the founding house of Japanese whisky, has officially introduced its new, inaugural global travel retail exclusive Yamazaki and Hakushu Kogei Collection (2024 Japanese Kimono Edition).

Japanese craftmanship

The word ‘Kogei’ can be translated as ‘traditional Japanese craftmanship’. The collection explores the traditional crafts of Japan through selected artisan partnerships, aiming to encapsulate Japanese artistry – a dedication to process, beauty, and creativity. The new whiskies, launching this month, showcase a harmonious fusion of peated malt and Spanish oak.

This limited-edition collection, created in partnership with traditional Japanese artisans, will be refreshed every two years with new packaging designs.

Partnership with Chiso Kimono House

Celebrating timeless artistry and tradition, the 2024 Japanese Kimono Edition was developed in collaboration with Chiso, the esteemed Kimono House in Kyoto, renowned since 1555. Known for its enduring designs, the house creates patterns that combine traditional and modern techniques.

Chiso's pattern-makers employed the traditional Bokashi-zome (gradation dyeing) method to infuse the distinctive narrative of the House of Suntory, and these unique Yamazaki and Hakushu whiskies, into the bottle labels and outer packaging.

The Yamazaki packaging features detailed prints inspired by the serene Yamazaki distillery, with the depiction of three merging rivers evoking a sense of calmness. Gold accents, reminiscent of drifting clouds, add a touch of elegance. The Hakushu packaging reflects the lush Japanese Southern Alps surrounding the Hakushu distillery. This design includes silver stamping, designed to evoke forest clouds and delicate kimono threads.

TR roll-out

The 2024 Kogei Collection includes two whiskies: the Yamazaki Peated Malt Spanish Oak and the Hakushu Peated Malt Spanish Oak. Both are now available at select airport locations worldwide, with an RRSP of US$205 for 700ml.

These airports include Singapore Changi, Dubai International, London Heathrow and others. The collection debuted on 1 April, at the House of Suntory’s first-ever travel retail shop-in-shop boutique, in Singapore Changi Terminal 3. Prominent installations supporting the launch will soon appear in Dubai International, followed by other major airports. The Kogei Collection will also be prominently showcased in the new House of Suntory shop-in-shop-space, which will go live later this year within Frankfurt Airport’s main liquor store.

The expressions

The art of “Tsukuriwake” or “artisanship through a diversity of making,” allowed master blender Shinji Fukuyo to enhance the profiles of both the Yamazaki and Hakushu whiskies. Using peated malt and maturation in Spanish oak casks, these single malts develop a unique flavor profile characterized by a colorful spice and a gentle smokiness.

The dark amber Yamazaki Peated Malt Spanish Oak features creamy notes of dark mocha, raisins, and almonds. It offers a deep, smooth smokiness on the palate, enriched with roasted cacao, and finishes with bittersweet caramelized baking spices.

Meanwhile, the Hakushu Peated Malt Spanish Oak combines floral and smoky notes, offering an elegant smokiness balanced with sweet, subtle citrus, and a lingering finish marked by gentle smoke and tartness.

Beam Suntory Global Travel Retail Managing Director Ashish Gandham stated: “The Kogei Collection is a new milestone for our whisky portfolio – and for the travel retail channel – and illustrates perfectly our commitment to combining premiumisation with sought-after exclusives.

“These two very special collectible whiskies are a testament to The House of Suntory’s legacy of craftmanship – and to our endless quest for quality and creativity. I’m very excited to introduce these releases to the global travel retail channel – the only market chosen to carry exclusive Yamazaki and Hakushu expressions.”

Beam Suntory Brand Marketing Director Global Travel Retail Manuel Gonzalez commented: “The Japanese Kimono Editions of our 2024 Kogei Collection are a true embodiment of craft through inspired innovation,” adding: “I’m sure these exceptional expressions will capture the imagination of whisky lovers and collectors, and drive engagement and trade-up for us and our retail partners.”

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