Review: The Yamazaki 18 Years Old

Review: The Yamazaki 18 Years Old

suntory-yamazaki-18-yearI’m quite the fan of Suntory’s 12 year old Yamazaki Japanese whisky, and finally got the chance to compare the 12 year to the 18 year version of The Yamazaki, side by side.

Everything you like about the 12 year — honey and citrus galore — is present in the 18, but amped up into a darker, more powerful concoction. It’s a smokier whisky than the 12, but very full bodied with candied fruits, banana, and strong bitter orange character. The finish is on the bitter side, which is the only flaw in this otherwise compelling whisky, which is, on the whole, perfect for, erm… relaxing times.

86 proof (same as the 12 year).


The Yamazaki 18 Years Old





  1. Alan on March 5, 2009 at 4:07 am

    The 12 year old is about $35; the 18 is closer to $80-$100.

  2. Christopher Null on March 5, 2009 at 7:45 am

    Whoops – forgot to fix the price (that’s what happens when you copy and paste, kids). Corrected now.

  3. Japanese whisky on March 5, 2009 at 5:02 pm

    Next stop the Yamazaki 25 at a mere 105,000 yen or c. 1,000 dollarsa bottle! For there the climb is steep. I know a bar in Tokyo where they sell the Yamazaki 50 at 917 dollars a shot. Japanese older vintages are very rare. (despite the blog post title, I have tasted it. It is very good.)

    Japanese single malts are not all madly priced. You can get a young and nice Nikka whisky Yoichi single malt for 17 dollars and that is at the current crummy exchange rates. Problem is Nikka, who won the overall top single malt whisky award at the World Whisky Awards in Glasgow last year, do not seem to export to US at the moment. It just seems to be Yamazakis for you lot. It is hard to export to the US.

  4. Jason on October 28, 2009 at 5:12 am

    Yamazaki 18 is very fine and you have astutely noted the only ‘flaw’ being that bitter note on the finish. It’s not cheap, but worth every penny.

  5. Chris on January 8, 2010 at 2:37 pm

    Tried this at an airport departure lounge as a sample – and it stopped me in my tracks. Like no other whiskey I’ve tasted. Blends flavour elements that I’ve never tasted together before, it is not like Scotch or Irish as far as I’m concerned and shouldn’t be too closely compared, it stands alone. My brow has never been so furrowed by a whiskey before and yet I really enjoyed the experience. Unusual, intriguing and ultimately beguiling.

  6. Christopher S. on June 2, 2010 at 3:48 pm

    If you’re ever in Las Vegas, and you’d like to enjoy some rlaxing times, make your way to the Mandarin Oriental. Located on the 23rd, the Mandarin Bar offers the 18yr old for $25 a dram. Enjoy one a fine whisky and one of the best views of Las Vegas.

  7. Charles N on February 18, 2023 at 6:39 am

    Hilarious reading the prices here from 2009. Woulda, coulda, shoulda stocked up back then. As an investment, Yamazaki 18 has easily outpaced the stock market since then. Hard to believe it was once $80-100/bottle when you can’t get a “single” pour for that price today.

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