Coronavirus crimped our style and derailed all our plans for March. We had initially planned to visit the Suntory Hakushu Distillery in Yamanashi Prefecture with some side trips to a small winery along the way. Distillery tours have to be made several months in advance and due to the popularity of Japanese whisky, the tours fill up quickly. In late February, Suntory decided to cancel all distillery tours for the month of March. Although we were disappointed, this was perhaps inevitable given the spread of coronavirus in Japan. I have to give Suntory credit — not only did they notify me by email, but they personally called me to inform me and apologize for the cancellation.
Unable to take any trips or visit any izakaya, Japanese drinking establishments, we sipped at home. The next best thing to Hakushu, perhaps, is beer matured in whisky barrels — in this case Suntory Yamazaki Whisky barrels.
Suntory Master’s Dream Matured in Yamazaki Whisky Barrels is a limited release that I believe is not available in stores. I purchased it on Amazon Here is the link https://amzn.to/3dVK1Ou. By the way, the Fujiyama glass is available here: https://amzn.to/3dPzEMt. Frankly I did not know how expensive it was as I had received it as a gift.
(Please note that we may receive a small amount, if you purchase via the links above through the Amazon Affiliates program.)
Here are our reviews for the product:
Bill: This finely crafted brew is rich, malty, and relatively high in alcohol, 7%. This reviewer found evidence of the whisky-cask aging in the nose, not the palate. He also likened it to Germany’s EKU 28, which is significantly higher in alcohol—11%–and heavier, though.
Robin: A finely crafted beer for sipping. Unlike the Kentucky Bourbon Ale or other stateside whisky/whiskey/bourbon barrel offerings, it is less sweet. However, it has a richness that other Japanese brews don’t have. It also doesn’t have the hoppiness of American microbrews. Very good.
Recommendation level (out of five stars)
We have written a book. For more information on Japanese beverages, please check it out. You can get it at fine offline and online booksellers in Japan, including Amazon.