By Sacha Delfosse, editor bars&clubs
Suntory Australia is doubling its supply of Japanese whisky to the Australian market in response to strong demand for premium whiskies.
According to Suntory Australia managing director, Ian Atherton, Australians are now consuming close to 19 million glasses of whisky per month.
In addition, the number of whisky drinkers in the 25 to 34 year old demographic has doubled in the past six years, while the number of discerning female whisky drinkers is also growing.
“We see Japanese whisky as being a particular growth area, as it is ideally suited for the Australian market. Suntory Whisky has a subtle, refined, yet complex flavour which is different to Scotch whisky and Irish/American whiskey,” said Atherton.
“Intended to be paired with food, Suntory Whisky is crafted to accompany a range of flavours – from traditional Japanese to Asian fusion, and from French cuisine to modern Australian fare.”
Six Suntory whisky varieties will be available locally as of May: Yamazaki Distiller’s Reserve, Yamazaki 12 Year Old, Hakushu Distiller’s Reserve, Hakushu 12 Year Old, Hibiki 12 Year Old, and Hibiki 17 Year Old.
The company believes the characteristics of Suntory whisky will appeal to younger drinkers (especially females), while serving the whiskies in Highballs – a popular trend in Japan – will help bring new drinkers to the category.
“Suntory Whisky has a refined flavour that holds appeal with both whisky connoisseurs and those just starting to enjoy whisky.
“Hakushu in particular has been gaining in popularity among female drinkers around the world, especially when consumed as a Highball – accompanied with soda water and a garnish such as a mint leaf, or a lemon wedge to accompany a Yamazaki Highball. With our warm climate, I predict the Hakushu and Yamazaki Highballs will prove very popular in Australia,” said Atherton.
“We’re also very pleased to introduce the Yamazaki and Hakushu Distiller’s Reserve to the Australian market, as they offer a more accessible introduction to Suntory Whisky. These whiskies represent the ‘young talent’, or young malt whiskies that have been hand selected by a team of blenders.”