Morimoto Asia from Orlando got one of 44 bottles of Yamazaki 55, the Japanese whiskey that sells for $ 950,000, and we got to taste it

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The House of Suntory, the legendary Japanese whiskey distiller, released Yamazaki 55 – their oldest single malt whiskey – and Morimoto Asia got their hands on one of the 44 bottles that made it to the United States.

I had the honor of tasting the Yamazaki 55 at a dinner hosted by Gardner Dunn, Brand Ambassador at Beam Suntory, and Morimoto Executive Chef Asia Yuhi Fujinaga, earlier this week to feature Suntory star as well as a range of Suntory’s 12-, 18- and 25-year-old whiskeys.

Fujinaga’s dishes were mind blowing (check out the menu below) with wonderful presentations of wagyu A5 tartare, peking duck, otoro, and akamutsu (black sea perch), as well as Japanese catches like managatsuo. (silver pomfret) and kinki (spiny-headed fish).

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Peking duck with satsuma, persimmons, cherries, yuzu marmalade - FAIYAZ KARA

  • Faiyaz Kara
  • Peking duck with satsuma, persimmons, cherries, yuzu marmalade

As exceptional as Fujinaga’s dishes were, the Yamazaki 55 was the main attraction, and what a beauty it is. The deep amber alcohol – a blend of rare single malts – is composed of whiskey distilled in 1960 from Japanese oak barrels (mizunara) by the founder of Suntory Shinjiro Torii, and single malts aged in American white oak in 1961 and 1964 by Suntory’s second master mixer. , Keizo Saji.

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Yamazaki 55 - FAIYAZ KARA

The result? Well, judging by the stunned faces, the rolling eyes and the cries of “Holy $ hit!” Around the table, euphoric. It was mid-century Japan in your mouth. Not so much Godzilla as Kyu Sakamoto. Its intoxicating aroma of sandalwood incense; the feeling of velvety softness; woody notes; and a coconut-like finish made everyone coo like a bunch of love-drunk pigeons.

And rightly so. Not only is the 55 meticulously crafted, a bottle (if you can find one) costs $ 60,000.

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One 15ml (0.5 oz) sample of Yamazaki 55 - FAIYAZ KARA

  • Faiyaz Kara
  • One 15 ml (0.5 oz) sample of Yamazaki 55

Suntory unveiled the 55-year-old whiskey last year with a 100-bottle release in the Japanese market. A lottery system was set up to determine who could buy a bottle for 3 million yen, or $ 27,000. This year, they launched an additional 100 bottles in select global markets, including the United States, with a suggested retail price of $ 60,000.

In the secondary market, on the other hand, prices have skyrocketed due to their scarcity. The bottles have been auctioned for $ 775,000 and $ 800,000, while online retailers are selling the bottle for up to $ 950,000.

Suntory’s price of $ 60,000 is meant to be fair and honorable, so it goes without saying that retailers and auction houses will likely never receive news from Suntory again.

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Chef Yuhi Fujinaga's menu for the Yamazaki 55 dinner - FAIYAZ KARA

  • Faiyaz Kara
  • Chef Yuhi Fujinaga’s menu for the Yamazaki 55 dinner

If you want to taste a small drink (or four) at Morimoto Asia, half an ounce will set you back $ 2,000. This could make a great holiday gift for the person in your life who loves experiences, not things.

Or, you can offer them an omakase that the Iron Chief himself will chair on December 5th. Yes, Chef Morimoto will serve a multi-course omakase with 12, 18, 25 and 55 year old whiskeys.

It will be a rarefied event, as only 14 seats are available. What about the cost? A very 1 percent $ 5,055 per person. Kanpai!


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