September 1, 2016
Pioneering the Whisky Business
Suntory carves new paths. It's what we do. It took a lot of daring to bring a foreign beverage to a market that didn't have the taste for it. The result is the exquisite Japanese whiskies enjoyed around the world today.
As with many legends, it started with a dream. Our founder Shinjiro Torii started the business with a vision of bringing Western drinking culture to Japan. He had his sights set on creating the demand for whisky in Japan -- a beverage unknown to many, and an idea dismissed by many as a fool's errand. Genuine whisky cannot be made in Japan, many said, and it would take too much time and money.
Yet in 1924, Torii built a malt whisky distillery, the first in the country in the outskirts of Kyoto, an area known for its pristine waters. His challenge was not only to suit the distinctively rich, smoky flavors of Scottish whisky to the fine Japanese palate, but to create a refined appreciation for it. Five years and many failed blends later, Suntory Shirofuda (White Label) whisky was born. Ever since, many brands were born in this Yamazaki Distillery, including Yamazaki, the single malt whisky brand enjoyed and renowned the world over.
This pioneering spirit and bold pursuit of the extraordinary is what we call Yatte Minahare -- it's what turns dreams into legends.