Burbon and Japanese whiskey are two of the hottest categories of spirits on the planet, with select bottles fetching sky-high prices as demand outstrips supply. One group benefiting from the popularity of both spirits is Beam Suntory, which has Beam Distilling Co. and House of Suntory under its umbrella.
The two distilleries have collaborated on Legent Bourbon in 2019. It’s a straight Kentucky bourbon that was distilled by Beam Master Distiller Fred Noe, aged in wine and sherry casks, then blended with additional pure Kentucky bourbon under the watchful eye of the blender in Suntory leader Shinji Fukuyo. Now distilleries are back on top, this time with Legent Yamazaki Cask Finish Blend.
The whiskey starts out as a pure Kentucky bourbon, aged for eight years in Kentucky. Then it travels to the outskirts of Kyoto to finish and blend at the Yamazaki Distillery.
For this version, Fukuyo put some of this Kentucky bourbon in French oak wine casks and Spanish oak sherry casks, which impart rich notes and a spicy finish. The bourbon also enters ancient Spanish Yamazaki oak barrels to imbue the liquid with full-bodied, malty depth and added complexity. Finally, the three uniquely finished selections are blended with more eight-year-old straight Kentucky bourbon.
The Yamazaki distillery dates back to 1923 and is located in the birthplace of Japanese whisky. Its location has been identified by Suntory as the ideal environment for mind maturation due to its distinct seasons and warm, humid climate.
Mr. Fukuyo said Yamazaki’s climate contributes to the unique, matured aroma of this version of Legent. “The result is a one-of-a-kind whiskey with new layers of round, complex flavor.”
Legent Yamazaki Cask Finish Blend is bottled at 57% ABV (114 Proof) and is available for a limited time only online and in select locations in the United States, Canada, Germany, and travel stores worldwide. It carries a suggested retail price of $199 USD. If you see one in the wild, grab it because that east-west expression won’t last long.