Beam Suntory Sets Bold Ambition for India, Launches First Truly International Indian Whisky Oaksmith® and the Iconic The House of Suntory Portfolio including Yamazaki®, Hibiki® and Roku® Gin
- Oaksmith®, a premium Indian whisky, crafted by Suntory’s Chief Blender, Shinji Fukuyo, the creator of iconic Japanese whiskies Hibiki® and Yamazaki®, marks Beam Suntory’s entry into the Indian whisky segment and combines the finest Scotch Malts and American Bourbon using Japanese blending craft to bring the best of East and West for Indian consumers.
- The global premium spirits company brings its finest and the most popular Japanese whiskies – Yamazaki® and Hibiki® – and Japanese craft gin – Roku® – to India with the launch of The House of Suntory
18th December 2019: Beam Suntory, the global premium spirits company, has launched a range of four premium spirits in India, signaling its commitment and strategy to grow in India in line with its ambition to reach USD 1 billion in revenue by 2030. The highlight of the launch is the introduction of Oaksmith® Indian whisky – created by world-renowned blender Shinji Fukuyo, Chief Blender, Suntory – using traditional Japanese craftsmanship, blended with the finest Scotch Malt whiskies and American Bourbons to make a whisky unique and authentic to Indian taste. In addition, the iconic Japanese whiskies Yamazaki® Distiller’s Reserve and Hibiki® Japanese Harmony, along with Roku® Japanese Craft gin have also been launched from The House of Suntory portfolio.
The launch of Oaksmith® and Oaksmith® Gold whisky in India is key to Beam Suntory’s growth strategy and signifies the importance of India to the company. Along with the introduction of Yamazaki®, Hibiki® and Roku®, it reinforces the company’s commitment to lead the growth and premiumisation of the Indian spirits market.
The launch event of The House of Suntory was graced by Shinji Fukuyo, world-renowned Chief Blender at Suntory, the creator of the luxury and iconic blends of Hibiki® and Yamazaki® whiskies, and Neeraj Kumar, Managing Director of Beam Suntory India, along with George Kumekawa, Representative, The House of Suntory. The event highlighted the exceptional legacy of The House of Suntory, the art of making delicate whiskies, and the importance of India for Beam Suntory globally. The House of Suntory brands are being launched across all major cities including Delhi, Mumbai, Pune, Hyderabad and Bangalore. Yamazaki® Distiller’s Reserve will be available in the range of INR 10,900 to INR 20,000 across different states; Hibiki® Japanese Harmony for INR 10,900 to INR 20,000 and Roku® gin for INR 5,500 to INR 7,100.
“We are thrilled by the appreciation that Hibiki® and Yamazaki® have received from consumers worldwide, and their popularity among spirits aficionados in India. The growing premiumisation of the Indian market and the appreciation for finely crafted spirits made this the right time to launch these brands, along with Roku® gin. Indians today are well-travelled and exposed to global trends, which inspired the creation of Oaksmith® for whisky lovers in India,” says Neeraj Kumar, Managing Director of Beam Suntory India. On Oaksmith® and Oaksmith® Gold, he said, “The beautiful blend incorporates years of tradition that the Beam Suntory family upholds while showcasing Shinji-san’s award-winning blending capabilities making it a whisky that, quite simply, no one else could possibly create.”
Oaksmith® is a celebration of mastery and global collaboration, combining the best of East and West in a bottle. Blended by Shinji Fukuyo himself, Oaksmith® is a harmonious blend of matured Scotch Malts that adds a strong flavour profile and American Bourbon whiskey, aged for at least four years in American Oak barrels which lends it an unmatched smoothness. That gives the brand its unique name and also inspires the round bottle labels celebrating its distinctive craftsmanship. Befitting the unique and distinct flavour palate, the exquisite six-sided bottle with beveled edges and a tall neck has an equally unique and ergonomic design that is an ode to the finest Japanese craftsmanship and makes it stand tall in this category. The company is celebrating its international pedigree with the use of the world map in all its creative expressions.
Much like The House of Suntory, Oaksmith® blend is made using the finest ingredients and sincerity of process that is a hallmark of Beam Suntory’s Japanese heritage which is unique to this brand in the entire Indian whisky category. From seed to sip, the whisky is meticulously crafted to achieve a blend like no other resulting in a bold spirit that is rich on the nose yet approachable and well-balanced on one’s palate with a bright, smooth and unexpectedly long finish. The unique offering will be available at the price of an Indian whisky and the flavourful palate will be well suited to both beginners and connoisseurs alike. There will be two variants of the product – Oaksmith® and Oaksmith® Gold – which will launch on 19th December 2019 in the state of Maharashtra, followed by the rest of the country in due course. Oaksmith® Gold will be priced in the range of INR 800 to INR 1300, while Oaksmith® will be priced in the range of INR 600 to INR 900 depending upon the state of launch. Both the variants will be premium in their respective categories due to the international quality of blend and craftsmanship they offer.
A relentless quest for perfection and commitment to using only the highest- quality ingredients encapsulates Suntory’s philosophy to create the finest spirit possible. Shinji Fukuyo, Chief Blender at Suntory, said, “My travels across the world have helped me understand and appreciate sophisticated flavour profiles. Blending spirits is about creating a harmonious flavour by weaving culture and tradition along with one’s own form of self-expression. This is an art in itself and I am very grateful that people globally have appreciated the quality and artistry of Hibiki® and Yamazaki®, and hopefully now, Oaksmith®.” On Oaksmith®, he added, “While making this blend, I wanted to ensure that it resonates specifically well with the Indian audience while being truly international in its spirit. I travelled across the country to understand the different food cultures and flavours. Eventually what I saw, heard and tasted, helped me explore a variety of flavour profiles and finalize this harmonious blend which has the best of America, Scotland and Japanese craftsmanship. I am extremely proud as the final product completely reimagines what the future of Indian whisky can be.”
On the rising popularity of gin in India, George Kumekawa, Representative, The House of Suntory, said, “In recent years, we have noticed a strong trend among Indians to opt for premium and craft gin as their spirit of choice as it has a softer flavour profile which is easier on the throat and refreshing in its appeal – perfect for brunches and refreshment occasions. With the introduction of Roku® gin in India, we are looking to further build the market for both gin as well as craft spirits to help enthusiasts discover new tastes and experiences.”