Japan discontinued the manufacturing of whisky that Bill Murray was drinking in «Lost in Translation»
The Japanese whisky producer Suntory will stop manufacturing two brands of its whisky, the 12-year-old single malt Hakushi and the 17-year-old blended Hibiki. The problem is with the demand, which is so high that Suntory is running out of stock.
Even though Japan, unlike Scotland and Ireland, is seldom associated with whisky, it is one of the top 5 countries leading the production of this beverage. Premium aged brands are the most popular; in recent years, they were awarded numerous prizes at prestigious expos and drew attention of connoisseurs of
whiskey and collectors from all over the world.
The manufacturers, who were only targeting Japanese consumers some twenty years ago, appeared not to be ready for the sharp increase in interest towards premium brands. Since there was a decline in popularity of whiskey in Japan in 1980’s, numerous large companies reduced their investments into the production. Hence, the result.
The volume of whiskey that started aging at that time and is now ready for consumption turned out to be clearly insufficient nowadays. Due to this, Suntory stopped the production of the extremely popular Hibiki 12 back in 2015, and another large whiskey manufacturer, Nikka, introduced import quotas for
several countries and still holds on to them.
Hibiki is the most famous and popular brand of premium blended whiskey from Japan; The 21-year-old whiskey of this brand received the Worldʼs Best Blended Whisky award five times in the past few years, which is why Suntory is not going to discontinue its production. The 17-year-old whiskey that the company decided to stop manufacturing is well-known not only among the connoisseurs and collectors; it became widely known after the movie ‘Lost in Translation’ was released, where Bill Murray’s character was advertising it. This scene gained such cultural significance that people wish to find this beverage precisely when coming to Japan.
Suntory plans to restore the production of the brands they had to abandon in a few years. Over the past five years, the company invested over 182 million dollars into the expansion of production, and by the end of 2018, 80 million more will be spent on that. It is rumoured that Hibiki 17 can return into the line
of production after the Olympic games in Tokyo that will take place in 2020.
It does not sound reasonable, why abandon the production of something so popular? Nevertheless, the production of whiskey takes time. This is why the company just cuts off the distribution. Against the backdrop of this situation, some agiotage has been spotted, and a bottle of whiskey from ‘Lost in Translation’ has already become more expensive; some experts suppose that its price might double in the future.
Hurry up to buy the whiskey from the movie while it is still available in the shops if you are a connoisseur of it!