The House of Suntory has announced the arrival of its first-ever world blended whisky, Suntory World Whisky Ao, to the U.S. market.
Previously available in Japan and Global Travel Retail only, the whisky arrives this month to Canada, Taiwan, Singapore and Korea — and will becomes in the United States in early 2023.
Ao was blended using whisky from Suntory Group’s distilleries in five of the world’s whisky regions: Scotland, Ireland, Canada, Japan and the U.S. This includes the heathery flavor of Ardmore and Glen Garioch in Scotland, the complexity of Cooley in Ireland, the smoothness of Alberta in Canada, the vibrance of Jim Beam in the U.S., and the subtlety of Yamazaki and Hakushu in Japan, the company says.
“Ao,” meaning blue, is named after the oceans that connect these whiskies of the world together, the company says.
The bottle is five-sided in honor of the five major whisky-making regions. The calligraphic lettering was written by Japanese calligrapher Tansetsu Ogino with an intent to represent the whiskies’ global origins and Japanese craftsmanship.
Fifth-generation Suntory Chief Blender, Shinji Fukuyo, selected the liquids. “Ao is an exceptional whisky which, through the art of Suntory blending, allows you to enjoy the unique characteristics of each of the five major whisky-making regions,” he says.
Suntory World Whisky Ao, 43% ABV, is available for suggested retail price of $55 per 700-ml. bottle.
On the nose is vanilla, pineapple-like fruitiness on top, a creamy sweetness and depth with a lingering woody aroma, the company reports. The palate is a smooth and sweet mouthfeel, gradually followed with smokiness and cinnamon-like spiciness, before a finish that’s sweet and smoky, spicy and woody.