Suntory is stopping sale of two single malt whiskies

Japan’s leading beverage company Suntory will stop selling its single malt whisky ‘Hakushu 12 Years Old’ from June and its blended whisky ‘Hibiki 17 Years Old’ from September, due to surging demand at home and abroad that has outstripped the distillery’s production capacity.

This the latest sale suspension by the Japanese maker due to fervent consumer demand since 2016 when it halted sales of Kakubin Black Label 43 Degrees brand.

The whisky market in Japan experienced a renaissance since 2008, when distillers began pushing highballs – mixed whisky drinks among younger drinkers. However, Suntory, Japan’s first whisky maker, is now not able to meet growing demand, reported Kyodo News.

The distillery did not reveal when the sale would resume but stated the company is raising funds to increase production output, reported Nikkei.

It has added stills at its Yamazaki distillery in Shimamoto, Osaka Prefecture, and the Hakushu distillery in Hokuto, Yamanashi Prefecture.

In addition, it’s also expanding its whisky storage and ageing cellar space.

In 2017, shipment volumes in Japan totalled 160,000 kiloliters, up 9% on the year and more than twice the level of 2008 when the market bottomed out, according to reports.

Globally, Japanese whisky has grown in popularity among whisky drinkers, and premium single malts made by distilleries such as Nikka and Karuizawa are among the most sought-after bottles among whisky enthusiasts.

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