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Monday, February 21, 2022

Suntory Very Rare Old Whisky, Expo 1970

Per my daughters, I can't call Jason my little brother anymore. So my younger brother turns an age ending in "0" this week. In honor of this event, I am reviewing a trio of scarce Suntory blends.

Japan's biggest whisky company has released blends in honor of a number of world expos over the years. Today's blend, which is "Very Rare Old", was bottled to commemorate the World's Fair held in Osaka in 1970. Per this auction, there were two such bottlings of two different styles. The whisky under review comes from this bottle shape:


Brand: Suntory
Ownership: Beam Suntory
Type: Blended whisky
Country: Japan
Age: NAS
Maturation: ???
Exclusive to: Osaka World's Fair, 1970
Alcohol by Volume
: 43%
(from a bottle split)


It smells lovely. Peaches and nectarines meet tar, coal and burlap. With time in the glass, it picks up some dried currants, fermenting apples and a whiff of OBE dustiness.

Toffee and butterscotch lead the palate, followed by lemon, menthol, charred chiles and a minor bitter bite.

It finishes more peppery and bitter than the palate, but also has a simple sweetness that lifts it up.

It also makes for one of the most vibrant mizuwaris I've ever had, full of malt, lemon, salt and vanilla.


This is great! Though "Very Rare Old" is usually a bunch of marketing baloney, this whisky feels like it had some actual extended maturation time. It's malty and thick, can stand up to air and club soda, and is just a swell drink. The hushed finish is all that keeps it from escalating to one of the superlative blends. Beware the varying fill levels seen on the secondary market.

Availability - Auctions
Pricing - ???
Rating - 87

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