The Yamazaki distillery was Japan’s first malt whisky distillery. Established in 1923 by Shinjro Torii, spirit first ran from the still on the 11th Novemeber 1924. The buildings stand between Osaka and Kyoto, in the blissful serenity of the Vale of Yamazaki. The whisky distillery is part of the Suntory brand and houses twelve stills of three different varieties. This allows Yamazaki to produce the range of flavours necessary for Suntory’s blended whiskies. It is very difficult to source whisky for blending in Japan; there are two parent companies: Nikka and Suntory. Between the two they own almost every distillery in Japan, thus there is little exchange between different distilleries. The Yamazaki Twelve Year-Old was launched in 1984 and stands as the first properly marketed single malt in Japan.