Photo/IllutrationSuntory Spirits Ltd. will sell 100 bottles of its Yamazaki Single Malt Whisky Aged 55 Years by lottery. This photo was taken on Jan. 30 in Tokyo’s Chuo Ward. (Akifumi Nagahashi)

  • Photo/Illustraion
  • Photo/Illustraion

Distilled in or before 1964 when the Tokyo Olympics was held, Yamazaki brand single-malt whisky aged for more than half a century will be sold for 3 million yen ($27,500) a bottle, excluding taxes, through a lottery.

Suntory Spirits Ltd. announced on Jan. 30 that only 100 bottles of its Yamazaki Single Malt Whisky Aged 55 Years will be put on sale.

Suntory Spirits will start accepting applications from Feb. 5 for the lottery at a special website. The company will begin shipping the bottles to winners from June 30.

The 700-milliliter bottles will contain only malt whiskies that have been distilled and stored from and prior to 1964 at the company’s Yamazaki Distillery in Osaka Prefecture.

Shinji Fukuyo, chief blender of the whisky, said when sipping the Yamazaki, a scent like that of aromatic trees of the highest grade of agalloch and sandalwood fills the mouth.

The whisky’s sweet and slightly bitter taste that follows gradually turns into a flavor containing the substances seeped from the barrels. The whisky has a long-lasting flavor like that of rich coconut milk, according to Fukuyo.

“The unique characteristics of a whisky emerge clearly after being aged for 55 years,” he said. “Some taste bitter as too many substances seeped from the barrels. I sought a perfect mix.”

The number of years the whisky has matured is inscribed in a gold leaf on each crystal bottle. Wooden boxes for the bottles are made of “mizunara” (Japanese oak) and finished with Suruga lacquering, the method used in Shizuoka since the Edo Period (1603-1867).

Suntory Spirits sold Yamazaki Single Malt Whisky Aged 50 Years, limited to 150 bottles, in 2011 priced at 1 million yen per bottle. Soaring global prices for rare Japanese whiskies are making headlines, with a bottle of the Yamazaki Single Malt Whisky Aged 50 Years selling for 32.5 million yen at an auction in Hong Kong in 2018.