Do any of the bottles above (including the featured image) look familiar to you? I’m sure at least one of them has probably crossed your line of sight, or better yet crossed into your liver.
Whether you have or haven’t tried either of the bottles above, there is a high chance that you’re familiar with the name Suntory. Maybe you’ve heard the name from an anime, video game or perhaps you’re just well-travelled.
Suntory, for those who aren’t familiar, are a beverage (yes, beverage) conglomerate who also happens to make oh-so delicious liquor for the people. Let’s take a closer look at the story behind this legendary brand.
Dreams Of A True Craftsmen
Like many great companies that’ve been around for centuries – but continue to thrive today, it all began with one person and their dream. That person’s name was Shinjiro Torii – who began Torii Shoten in 1899 (What we know as Suntory today) to produce and sell wine.
Shinjiro was a tradesman who dedicated his life to making the highest-quality products. According to Suntory’s official website: “He was not content to be simply a tradesman, producing whisky to make a profit, but strove all his life to make a contribution to society.”
Additionally, Shinjiro was reported to be a demanding employer who constantly pushed his workers to improve their capabilities. On the other hand, anecdotal records show that kind and fatherly nature would sometimes bring tears of joy to his workers’ eyes.
Making The Dream A Reality
Orginially, Japan imported wines and whiskies from distant countries by sea. Shinjiro Torii was one of the first merchants who wanted to create locally made Japanese-styled whisky that would rival and even surpass Japan’s imported alcohol.
What Shinjiro set out to do was unheard of at the time. He introduced wine to the ordinary people of Japan who were and unfamiliar with wine and taught people who’d never heard of whisky how to drink it.
Slowly but surely, Shinjiro’s Torii Shoten company was becoming a local powerhouse but definitely cemented itself after releasing Japan’s very own premium port wine, which became the brand’s staple product:
The First Release & The Future
Source: Suntory Source: Suntory
Released in 1907, Akadama Port Wine (later renamed to Akadama Sweet Wine in 1973) was Suntory’s cornerstone product. While the launch of this wine saw massive success and growth for Suntory, something else was
brewing distilling in the background.
By 1923, the company was called Kotobukiya and were planning to create a uniquely Japanese whiskey for Japanese palates. This resulted in the construction of the legendary Yamazaki distillery (Japan’s first malt whisky distillery) the very same year.
By the tail end of the decade, Suntory released their first whisky called the Suntory Whisky Shirofuda which blew away both Japanese and foreign expectations.
Even so, Suntory weren’t content with creating one good whisky and were working really hard to make their name in international powerhouse of whisky companies.
Legend of the Kakubin
For you fans of The Good Stuff, you’ve probably stumbled across that bottle in the photo above more than once. That dear readers, is the culmination of over 40 years of hard work and dedication: The Suntory Kakubin Whisky.
Fast-forward to the 1961 and Suntory elects a second president, Keizo Saji. Unlike most brands, Suntory makes it a point to give back to their local community and have been doing social outreach programs since the year 1921.
That same year, the Suntory Museum of Art opens its doors to the public. Then in 1963, Suntory entered the beer market with the release of Suntory Beer. It was also around this time that the company changed their name from Kotobukiya Limited to Suntory Limited.
Suntory would continue their humanitarian efforts into the next decade by setting up the ‘Launch of Save the Birds‘ campaign in 1973 as means of conserving Japan’s national biodiversity. Coincidentally, Suntory also established the Hakushu distillery in a serene forest location.
Again, this brief interruption is to address both you loyal and first time readers. Doesn’t the name Hakushu sound a little too familiar? If the lightbulb in your brain lit up, that’s because that’s the same distillery who made the oh-so-delicious Haku Vodka!
Suntory Limited Today
Today, Suntory is an absolute behemoth in the both the alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverage industry. The photo above was taken in 2014 when Suntory merged with Beam (yes, the makers of Jim Beam Bourbons).
Perhaps that’s enough history for today. While many of you are already aware that we here at The Good Stuff are selling the Suntory Kakubin Whisky, Haku Vodka and perhaps our best-selling bottle yet – the Roku Gin, we are beyond pleased to announce that…
Suntory’s Whiskies Are Now For Sale!
The Chita Single Grain Whisky – Distiller’s Reserve
The Yamazaki Single Malt Whisky – Distiller’s Reserve
The Yamazaki Single Malt Whisky 12 Years Old
You probably thought we meant the Suntory Kakubin huh? Well, we do have that for sale in a very generous bundle promo alongside 1 bottle of Haku Vodka as well as 1 bottle of Roku Gin.
Check it out:
Or browse through our entire collection of alcohol and have your purchases delivered to your home!