Suntory Factory: Premium Malts and Yamazaki Whiskey

Suntory has two factories you can visit in Kyoto, Premium Malts Beer and Yamazaki Whiskey, what’s better is its possible to visit both in the same day!

Beer first, then hard liquor.

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We had the free tour.

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No beer seemed to be in production while we were there but we got to see all the machinery and watch a video presentation about it. I was surprised to see they get their hops from the Czech Republic. The whole place smelt lovely and hoppy too.

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At the end of the tour you can sample the goods! A free premium malts and malts drink, including some complimentary beer snacks. Apparently we could have three drinks, but before we finished our second they were tidying up trying to usher us out! While we were drinking the tour guide gave a sales pitch for beer gift boxes, but it was easy enough to ignore.

We jumped on the free Suntory bus back to the station and headed towards Yamazaki.

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We booked the paid tour here, ¥1000.

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Whiskey history and whiskey library.

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We were shown the various stages of whiskey production, and watched some more video presentations. The smell of alcohol was really strong!

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The storage room was really interesting they had some barrels from their first batch in 1924. I tried to find some my birth year but only could find my sisters.

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After the tour was the main event – the tasting session! We were talked through how to make the perfect highball (whiskey ice and tonic).

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And tasted three of their other whiskeys. Of course the most expensive one tasted the best! We even had a snack selection and were told when to have each snack with each whiskey. The chocolate orange went pretty well with the strong whiskey, I was surprised!

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We had some leaflets on the whiskey tour and space where we could make tasting notes.

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My notes: colour-amber/whiskey, smell-whiskey, taste-whiskey, finish-whiskey? Ok I admit I wasnt trying very hard.

Before we left we were gifted with Tory’s tshirts! Yay.

I enjoyed both visits, the premium malts was fun for the free beer and the whiskey one was a bit more interesting and we had the whiskey lesson at the end. I’d do both again for sure!

The tours are only given in Japanese, but we were able to get an English audio guide for the Yamazaki tour. All tours need to be booked in advance over the phone.

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4 thoughts on “Suntory Factory: Premium Malts and Yamazaki Whiskey

    • Hehe, thanks, I’d had a few drinks by then! I’d never really thought about where their hops came from before, just seemed v random when they said Czech but I guess it’s pretty popular for beer! I’ve never tried that one before though, I’ll keep my eye out for it!x

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