The Founding House of Japanese Whisky partners with film icons Sofia Coppola and Keanu Reeves and introduces new limited-edition whiskies to toast its centennial
NEW YORK, May 24, 2023 /PRNewswire/ — The House of Suntory, the Founding House of Japanese Whisky, celebrates its 100th anniversary of whisky innovation: a major milestone not only for Suntory’s history but for Japanese spirits culture. In honor of this centennial, the House releases a Suntory Anniversary Tribute as imagined by Academy Award-winning Director Sofia Coppola and starring Actor Keanu Reeves, as well as exclusive 100th anniversary editions of its world-renowned whiskies.
Actor Keanu Reeves celebrates his partnership with the House of Suntory honoring 100 Years of Pioneering Japanese Spirit.
Twenty years after filming Lost in Translation, Sofia Coppola returned to Japan to create the Suntory Anniversary Tribute. Coppola brings her artistic genius and admiration for Suntory Whisky to life as the creative director of The Tribute that honors Suntory’s illustrious past, present and future. The Suntory Anniversary Tribute tells the remarkable story of the brand’s heritage and whisky-making legacy over the last 100 years, depicting the meaning of “Suntory Time” through the eyes of its creator. The Suntory Anniversary Tribute, which features actor Keanu Reeves, a lover of Suntory Whisky and who previously appeared in a Suntory Reserve ad campaign in 1992, debuted yesterday during the Suntory Time 100th Anniversary Global Premiere event in New York City and can now be viewed on the House of Suntory website here.
“As the pioneer of Japanese whisky, the House of Suntory played a significant role in shaping culture and leading craftsmanship in Japan over the last century,” said Jon Potter, Managing Director of the House of Suntory. “To mark this historic milestone, partnering with Sofia and Keanu, who are Suntory Whisky fans, makes perfect sense. From our Fifth Generation Chief Blender Shinji Fukuyo’s striking blends to Sofia and Keanu’s unique cinematic creations, this commemoration has surpassed all expectations to celebrate our iconic Japanese whiskies.”
Later this summer, Reeves will star in another creative project in partnership with the House of Suntory: a series of documentary shorts from filmmaker Roman Coppola titled: “The Nature and Spirit of Japan.” The series explores Japanese whisky culture inspired by harmony with nature (Wa), elevated by Japanese craftsmanship (Monozukuri) and enjoyed as an authentic Japanese cultural experience (Omotenashi). The docuseries will strike a balance between education and entertainment, aiming to foster a deeper exploration of the House of Suntory and Japanese culture overall.
“I’m honored to partner with Suntory Whisky again thirty years after our Suntory Reserve campaign,” said Keanu Reeves. “I’m a huge fan of Suntory Whisky, so it’s very special to collaborate in honor of this milestone anniversary. My admiration for the whisky goes beyond tasting the whisky. It is the elevated Japanese craftsmanship and attention to every detail that makes Suntory Whisky so special. As an actor honing and perfecting my own craft, sharing this process in a docuseries is a thrill.”
In honor of the centennial, the House of Suntory is releasing several limited-edition whiskies that highlight the unique Japanese craftsmanship at Suntory’s whisky distilleries and their meticulous art of blending, including Yamazaki 18 Year Old Mizunara and Hakushu 18 Year Old Peated Malt whiskies. Limited 100th anniversary labels of the flagship Yamazaki 12 Year Old and Hakushu 12 Year Old will also be released for the centennial.
“Hakushu and Yamazaki whiskies are gifts from our past handed down by generations,” said Fifth Generation Chief Blender Shinji Fukuyo. “It is fitting to release limited editions as part of this incredible milestone, as they represent our relentless pursuit of quality and symbolize our promise to carry our philosophy on for the next one hundred years and beyond.”
The centennial of the House of Suntory began with the establishment of its Yamazaki Distillery in 1923 —the first and oldest malt whisky distillery in Japan’s history. The House of Suntory founder Shinjiro Torii’s 100-year legacy began with a dream to “create an original Japanese whisky blessed with the riches of Japanese nature and craftsmanship,” which his grandson Shingo Torii carries forth today at Yamazaki and its distilleries across the country. Since its founding, the House of Suntory has been crafting world-class spirits and is known for Yamazaki, Hakushu, Chita, Kakubin, Hibiki, Suntory Whisky Toki and Ao, as well as Roku Gin and Haku Vodka.
This landmark anniversary is a significant milestone for the House of Suntory and for its home country of Japan. As a first step toward its promising future, the House of Suntory is investing 10 billion JPY ($77 million USD) to enhance its Yamazaki and Hakushu Distilleries which are currently closed for renovation and scheduled to reopen this fall. The House of Suntory has become synonymous with some of the best Japanese whiskies in the world today, and it has undoubtedly built a legacy worthy of celebration.
The House of Suntory invites fans to join its new global membership program. Members will be among the first to hear about the House of Suntory new releases, receive priority consideration for invitations to consumer experiences*, learn news from the distilleries, gain early access to content and more. The House of Suntory membership program aims to bring Japanese whisky enthusiasts together around the world and provide a cultural journey through Japan. To sign up, please visit us online here.
For more information about the House of Suntory, please visit us online here.
*Limited number of invitations in key cities.
About The House of Suntory
Since 1923, Suntory has been renowned as a pioneer of Japanese Whisky for its House of Master Blenders and for their Art of Blending. Founder Shinjiro Torii built Japan’s first malt whisky distillery in Yamazaki, and the Suntory legacy continued with Torii’s son and Suntory’s second Master Blender, Keizo Saji, who continued to establish distilleries including the Hakushu Distillery. As the generations of Suntory’s master blenders carry on, Suntory Whisky remains committed to heritage and innovation. The House of Suntory has been named four-time Distiller of the Year at the International Spirits Challenge in London, UK (2010, 2012, 2013, 2014). Suntory Whiskies are subtle, refined and complex. The portfolio includes Yamazaki, Hakushu, Chita, Kakubin, Hibiki, Suntory Whisky Toki and Ao. The House of Suntory portfolio also offers Roku Japanese Gin and Haku Japanese Vodka. Created from Japanese ingredients by the master artisans at the House of Suntory, Roku Gin and Haku Vodka represent the nature and spirit of Japan. This year, Suntory Whisky celebrates one hundred years of whisky innovation—a major milestone not only for the brand’s history, but for Japanese spirits culture as a whole. To mark this anniversary, the House of Suntory will be rolling out its centennial campaign throughout 2023.
@SuntoryWhisky #SuntoryTime #Suntory100
About Beam Suntory
As a world leader in premium spirits, Beam Suntory inspires the brilliance of life by delivering great consumer experiences through its world-class portfolio of brands. Known for its craftsmanship of premium whiskies, including Jim Beam®, Maker’s Mark®, Basil Hayden® and Knob Creek® bourbons; Japanese whiskies, including Yamazaki®, Hakushu®, Hibiki® and Toki®; and leading Scotch brands including Teacher’s, Laphroaig® and Bowmore®, Beam Suntory also produces leading brands such as Courvoisier® cognac, Tres Generaciones®, El Tesoro® and Hornitos® tequila, Roku and Sipsmith® gin, Canadian Club® whisky, and is a world leader in ready-to-drink cocktails, with brands like -196 and On The Rocks™ Premium Cocktails.
A global company with approximately 6,000 employees in more than 30 countries, one of Beam Suntory’s core values is Growing for Good and through its Proof Positive sustainability strategy, the company has committed to ambitious goals and investments to promote environmental sustainability in its operations, ensure the company has a positive impact on the communities where employees live and work, and programs to inform consumers as they make choices about drinking. Headquartered in New York City, Beam Suntory is a subsidiary of Suntory Holdings Limited of Japan. For more information on Beam Suntory, its brands, and its commitment to social responsibility, please visit www.beamsuntory.com and www.drinksmart.com.
Suntory Whisky Single Malt & Blended Japanese Whisky, 43-48% Alc./Vol. ©2023 Beam Suntory Import Co., Chicago, IL