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Next Auction starts Friday 31 March. Bottle Deadline: Monday 20 March.

Yamazaki 55 Year Old 2020 Release

Lot: 5037511

Yamazaki 55 Year Old 2020 Release

Winning Bid: £425,000
(Reserve has been met) This lot currently has: 172 bids

Currency Estimate

Important: Currency exchange rates are constantly changing; this feature is to be used as a guide price only. All final transactions occur in British Pounds (£).
55 Year Old
1960 & 1964
Cask Type: 
Mizunara & White Oak
Bottled Strength: 
Bottle Size: 
70cl & 5cl
Distillery Status: 
product Details

Yamazaki 55 Year Old 2020 Release

In the early months of 2020, Beam Suntory quietly stated that a "phenomenal expression" could be expected later that same year. When it finally premiered, this unprecedented release became the oldest Japanese single malt ever bottled.

Suntory’s flagship distillery, Yamazaki was founded by Shinjiro Torii in 1923. The town of Yamazaki was chosen to be the site of Japan’s first commercial distillery due to its very ‘Scottish’ climate, and with it being an area where three rivers converge. In its early days, Yamazaki produced both malt and grain for Suntory's blends, but the opening of the Chita distillery in 1972 allowed the company to focus on its single malt brand. It is now one of the world's most desirable. The first spirit ran from the stills in 1924, on 11th November at 11:11am.

The Yamazaki 55 year old is a vatting of two casks: a 1960-vintage mizunara oak and a 1964-vintage white oak. The 1960-vintage was distilled by founder Shinjiro Torii and the 1964-vintage represents the year his son, Keizo Saji, succeeded him as second-generation Master Blender. Over half a century of maturation later, the casks were carefully married together by current and fifth Master Blender, Shinji Fukuyo.

As you would expect, the presentation showcases the highest quality of Japanese craftsmanship. The "55" emblazoned on the crystal bottle is decorated with maki-e, the traditional Japanese technique of sprinkling gold powder on lacquerware. The handcrafted box is made of Japanese mizunara wood which is finished in a traditional style. The mouth of the bottle is wrapped in a layer of ink-black washi paper strewn with gold flakes whist a cord braided from 24 ink-black, gold, and silver strands hold the wrapping in place.

When it came to distribution in mid-2020, it was decided that the first 100 bottles would be sold exclusively in Japan via lottery. Over a year later, a second release of another 100 bottles were made available to other markets around the world.

This particular bottle is one of first 100 that went on sale in Japan in 2020. 

Alongside the 70cl bottle is a 5cl miniature, documents that state the bottles authenticity, and a beautifully presented book which details the whisky.

  • Please Note: Suntory have engraved the back of the bottle and the inside of the wooden display box with the original buyer’s name. The miniature label also carries the same name. These have been obscured at the request of the seller and will be revealed to the winning bidder.
  • Please Note: This lot is not eligible for Whisky Auctioneer storage. The winning bidder must arrange for collection within 7 days of purchase.
Important Notice

We would recommend viewing/close inspection prior to placing any bids. If this is not an option and you have questions beyond the offered description and images, please contact us for a more in-depth condition report. Otherwise lots will be sold as seen in the images.

Please note: Due to the various ages of bottles and their seals, condition of liquid is at the buyer's discretion and no claim can be lodged against failure/leakage in transit.