Suntory® Whisky History
The history of Japanese whisky is the history of Shinjiro Torii, the founder of Suntory.
In 1923, Shinjiro Torii envisioned a whisky filled with the essence of Japanese nature and hand-crafted by artisans through a patient process of enhancing the work of nature.
He dreamt of creating subtle, refined, yet complex whisky that would suit the delicate palate of the Japanese and enhance their dining experience.
Though initially inspired by traditional Scottish whisky, Torii envisioned a Japanese approach by choosing a terrain and climate completely different from those of Scotland. Torii chose the region of Yamazaki, on the outskirts of Kyoto as the birthplace of Japanese whisky.
Shinjiro Torii (1879-1962)
Shinjiro Torii was born in the Meiji Period, when Western culture and civilization suddenly flowed into Japan.
Ending his schooling at age thirteen, Torii entered into an apprenticeship at a pharmaceutical wholesaler in Osaka that carried Western liquors. There he engaged in stylish Western pursuits and mastered techniques of mixing, then developed a discriminating palate and nose. He mastered techniques of mixing and blending through his teenage apprenticeships.
In the year 1899, Shinjiro Torii went independent, renting a modest house where generations of pursuit of a dream all started.Continue through our timeline to discover the history of Suntory.