Suntory Whisky is one of the most popular and acclaimed Japanese whisky brands in the world. With its wide range of expressions and flavors, Suntory whisky offers something for every palate and budget. In this article, we will take a close look at Suntory whisky prices in the USA for 2023.
Overview of Suntory Whisky
Suntory is Japan’s first and oldest whisky distillery, founded in 1924 by Shinjiro Torii. Torii hired Masataka Taketsuru, a Japanese chemist who studied Scotch whisky production in Scotland, to set up the Yamazaki Distillery near Kyoto. This marked the birth of Japanese whisky.
Over the decades, Suntory has perfected the art of blending malt and grain whiskies to produce superbly crafted whiskies. Some of its most iconic bottlings include the Hibiki range, Yamazaki single malts, and the premium blended whisky, Hakushu.
Suntory whiskies are known for their subtlety, complexity, and meticulous attention to detail. The house style combines both Scottish and Japanese influences to create a unique drinking experience.
Factors Affecting Suntory Whisky Prices
Several factors impact the retail pricing of Suntory whiskies in the American market:
- Taxes and duties: There are federal excise taxes, customs duties, state taxes, and local taxes that get added to the base price. This accounts for a significant chunk of the final retail price.
- Distribution costs: As the whisky travels from Japan to the USA, costs are incurred for international and domestic shipping, warehousing, and distribution. These costs are passed on to the consumer.
- Age: Older aged Suntory whiskies tend to command a higher price due to the rarity and complexity gained from prolonged barrel aging.
- Reputation: Well-known brands like Yamazaki and Hakushu attract a premium for their reputation and acclaim. Limited releases also fetch higher prices.
- Retail margins: To account for overheads and profits, retailers add their own margins on top of the supplier price. These margins vary across stores.
Suntory Whisky Prices in the USA for 2023
Here is a breakdown of 2023 pricing for some popular Suntory whisky expressions in 750ml bottles at American liquor stores:
Suntory Toki: $39.99
Toki is Suntory’s entry-level blend made for mixing. With notes of green apple, honey, grapefruit, and thyme, it makes a simple but refreshing highball. Priced under $40, Toki is the most affordable way to enjoy the Suntory flavor.
Suntory Hibiki Japanese Harmony: $124.99
Hibiki Harmony is Suntory’s gateway into premium Japanese whisky. A meticulous blend of malt and grain whiskies aged in 5 different types of casks. It delivers a harmonious balance of sweet honeyed malt and dry spicy grain flavors. It provides a nicely rounded experience without breaking the bank.
Suntory Yamazaki 12 Years Old: $179.99
Aged for 12 full years in a combination of Spanish, American, and Japanese Mizunara oak casks, the Yamazaki 12 is a single malt full of complexity. On the palate, expect ripe pear, peach, coconut, clove, and cinnamon spice flavors. The quintessential Japanese single malt experience.
Suntory Hakushu 18 Years Old: $799.99
At the ultra-premium end is Hakushu 18, a single malt aged for 18 long years. Bottled at 43% ABV, it offers intense flavors of smoke, citrus, menthol, honey, and chocolate. The hefty price tag reflects its status as a rare, coveted whiskey perfect for special occasions.
Best Places to Buy Suntory Whisky in the USA
Suntory whiskies are widely distributed in liquor stores across America. Here are some of the best places to shop for good prices:
- Online stores like Drizly, ReserveBar, and Caskers offer convenience and doorstep delivery. Sign up for alerts on limited releases.
- Japanese grocery stores in big cities for the best selections of Suntory’s core range. Shop at Mitsuwa Marketplace, Nijiya Market, etc.
- Specialty liquor stores like Binny’s Beverage Depot in Chicago and K&L Wines in California offer rare bottlings.
- Travel retail shops at international airports have exclusive duty-free selections at attractive prices.
- Auction sites like WhiskyAuctioneer.com can fetch hard-to-find vintage Suntory bottles for collectors.
Enjoy Suntory Whisky Responsibly
Suntory whiskies make for fine sipping whiskies as well as mixing ingredients for cocktails. With knowledge of current prices, you can shop smartly. But always remember to drink in moderation and never drive after consuming alcohol.