Suntory Launches Japanese Gin and Vodka in U.S.

Chicago, Ill. – Beam Suntory announces the introduction of Roku Japanese Gin and Haku Japanese Vodka to the United States. Created from Japanese ingredients by the master artisans at the House of Suntory, the Founding House of Japanese Whisky, Roku Gin and Haku Vodka represent the nature and spirit of Japan. These premium spirits embody Suntory founder Shinjiro Torii’s philosophy of monozukuri craftsmanship: a relentless pursuit of perfection, meticulous attention to detail and commitment to quality.

“We are thrilled to release Roku Gin and Haku Vodka in the U.S. as part of the House of Suntory,” says Claire Richards, Senior Director of the House of Suntory at Beam Suntory. “The launch of these two brands creates great opportunity for craft spirits enthusiasts to discover new tastes and experiences that further embody Shinjiro Torii’s vision of a challenge and quest for excellence.”

Roku Japanese Gin

Roku Gin, which launches in the U.S. this month at a suggested retail price of $27.99, will be available in a 750ml bottle at 43% ABV. It is currently available in Japan and other Asian countries, as well as major Gin markets such as UK, Germany, and Australia. Roku, which translates as “six” in Japanese, is made with six traditional Japanese botanicals that are infused, distilled and blended by the Japanese artisans of Suntory Spirits in Osaka, Japan.

The premium craft gin’s flavor profile is achieved by balancing six unique Japanese botanicals with eight traditional gin botanicals. The Japanese botanicals – Sakura flower, Sakura leaf, Yuzu peel, Sencha tea, Gyokuro tea and Sansho pepper – are harvested in accordance with ‘shun’, the tradition of enjoying each ingredient at its best by only harvesting at its peak of flavor and perfection. It is then distilled using a selection of different pot stills, each chosen to ensure the best flavor is extracted from each botanical. The result is a complex yet harmonious gin with a smooth and silky texture.

Its bottle and label have been carefully designed to appeal to the Japanese sense of aesthetics and beauty. Roku’s bottle is cast in a hexagonal shape, representing each of the six uniquely Japanese botanicals inside, and is finished with delicate embossing. The Japanese kanji symbol for six is printed on the label, which is made of traditional washi paper.

Roku can be enjoyed neat, on the rocks or in the Roku Rickey, a Japanese twist on a classic cocktail. The pairing of chilled soda water with Roku enhances the gin’s aromatic and floral notes from the botanicals.

Haku Japanese Vodka

Haku Vodka, launching exclusively in the U.S. this month at a suggested retail price of $27.99 in a 750ml bottle at 40% ABV. Although Haku literally means “white,” the subtlety of the Japanese language often gives kanji (Japanese characters) several meanings. While “Haku” is rooted in the word “Hakumai,” translated as Japanese white rice, its nuanced meaning can also be elevated to evoke “Junpaku,” which connotes an untainted brilliance. This is a tribute to the craft of mastering a clear, clean and luminous vodka.

This premium craft vodka is made from 100 percent Japanese white rice. The meticulous process required to mill and polish the rice attributes to its mild and subtly sweet flavor. As an iconic symbol, pure white Japanese rice conveys the House of Suntory’s commitment to working with the best and most indigenous ingredients from Japan.

In Kagoshima, Kyushu, a region historically famous for its rice spirit making, the process begins with white rice fermented with koji rice to create a mash. The mash is then distilled through pot stills to create a rice spirit. It is then distilled for a second time through two different processes in a pot still and column still to create a uniquely flavored liquid. This liquid is then blended and filtered through bamboo charcoal in Osaka, Japan. This process, unique to Suntory, preserves and enhances the rice’s delicately sweet and subtle flavors.

The delicate craftsmanship that goes into this liquid is complemented by its beautiful bottle. The curved lines on the Haku bottle represent the streams glistening through nature in Japan as they run through the four seasons. The label design consists of Junpaku (pure-white) washi paper – representing the beauty of Japanese white rice, the soul of this vodka – and Kanji calligraphy with sumi ink.

Haku can be served neat, on the rocks or in the Haku-Hi. The liquid’s smooth and round taste suits it for many types of cocktails, but the simplicity of the Haku-Hi with chilled soda water and lemon peel particularly enhances the soft and subtly sweet flavors of the vodka.

About Suntory

Suntory was established in 1899 and is headquartered in Tokyo, Japan. Since 1923, as the pioneer of Japanese whisky, Suntory Whisky has been renowned for its House of Master Blenders and for their Art of Blending. The founding father of Japanese whisky, Shinjiro Torii, built Japan’s first malt whisky distillery in Yamazaki. Nestled in the outskirts of Kyoto, this region was the birthplace of the traditional Japanese tea ceremony and is known for the purity of its waters. Torii dreamt of creating an authentically Japanese whisky by choosing a terrain and climate completely different to that of Scotland, thereby cultivating unique conditions for maturation.

In 1972, Torii’s son Keizo Saji, Suntory’s second master blender, built the Chita grain distillery near Nagoya to produce more of their own high-quality grain whiskies. In 1973, Saji founded the Hakushu distillery amidst the deep forests of Mt. Kaikomagatake in the Japanese Southern Alps with the goal of producing malt whiskies distinct from those made at Yamazaki. Its high altitude and lush environment are what differentiates Hakushu from other distilleries.

At each of these distilleries, a diverse array of whiskies are produced through various fermentation techniques, shapes and sizes of giant copper pot stills, and the wide variety of cask types used. Today, roughly 1,200,000 casks of whisky are quietly maturation in Suntory’s aging cellars. This tsukuriwake—variety in the making—allows for the blending opportunities that are essential to achieving the subtle, refined yet complex taste signature to Suntory Whiskies.

With respect to heritage and a commitment to innovation, third generation master Blender Shingo Torii, and grandson of Shinjiro, now leads this most highly awarded house of Japanese Whisky. The House of Suntory Whisky has been named four-time Distiller of the Year at the International Spirits Challenge in London, UK (2010, 2012, 2013, 2014).

The House of Suntory portfolio includes two single malt whiskies:  Yamazaki – the pioneer of Japanese Single Malts, multi-layered and profound, and Hakushu – verdant, fresh, and delicately smoky; a single grain whisky: Chita—sublimely smooth, versatile and complex; and two blends: the noble blend, Hibiki – Japan’s most highly awarded blended whisky, and Suntory Whisky Toki – ideal for Japanese highballs.

The introduction of Roku Japanese Gin and Haku Japanese Vodka adds two premium white spirits created from Japanese ingredients by the master artisans at the House of Suntory to the collection. Roku Gin and Haku Vodka embody Suntory founder Shinjiro Torii’s philosophy of monozukuri craftsmanship: a relentless pursuit of perfection, meticulous attention to detail and commitment to quality.

Visitwww.house.suntory.com for more information.

About Beam Suntory Inc.

As the world’s third largest premium spirits company, Beam Suntory is Crafting the Spirits Brands that Stir the World.  Consumers from all corners of the globe call for the company’s brands, including the iconic Jim Beam and Maker’s Mark bourbon brands and Suntory whisky Kakubin, as well as world renowned premium brands including Knob Creek bourbon, Yamazaki, Hakushu and Hibiki Japanese whiskies, Teacher’s, Laphroaig, and Bowmore Scotch whiskies, Canadian Club whisky, Courvoisier cognac, Hornitos and Sauza tequila, EFFEN and Pinnacle vodka, Sipsmith gin, and Midori liqueur.

Beam Suntory was created in 2014 by combining the world leader in bourbon and the pioneer in Japanese whisky to form a new company with a deep heritage, passion for quality, innovative spirit and commitment to Growing for Good.  Headquartered in Chicago, Illinois, 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 andwww.drinksmart.com.

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Manuela Savona | Savona Communications |manuela@savonacommunications.com  | 917-969-1275