Haku: The Japanese Craft Vodka

Made with 100% Japanese white rice, the name Haku® means “white” in Japanese. The word can also be read as “brilliant” – a tribute to the craft of mastering a clear, clean tasting, and luminous vodka. Filtered through bamboo charcoal, Haku® has an unparalleled soft, round, and subtly sweet taste.

Japanese man is nosing a bell shaped glass filled with Haku Craft Vodka
Bottle of Haku Craft Vodka on top of large charcoal pieces, next to a glass with ice and vodk

Haku Vodka

At Suntory, the artisans of the House are committed to selecting the best ingredients, and elaborating on complex and innovative making techniques to create spirits of unrivaled quality and unique Japanese character. It is the signature of the House of Suntory‘s “Monozukuri” craftsmanship. Haku is a new iteration of that philosophy, and inherits Shinjiro Torii’s vision of challenge and quest of excellence. Haku, the Japanese craft vodka.

Hakumai: 100% Pure Japanese Rice

Two hands holding a mound of rice

Contrary to what the West may perceive, Japanese white rice has never been considered a “staple” of a Japanese meal. To this day, pure white Japanese rice is respected as a luxury. Traditionally, white Japanese rice was always reserved for worship and for the wealthier noble classes, including the Imperial Family. Milled and polished to perfection, white rice is revered for its mild and subtly sweet flavor. Pure white Japanese rice is the ultimate symbol of Japan. It genuinely conveys Suntory’s commitment to working with the best and most authentic ingredients from Japan.

Bamboo Charcoal Filtration

Clear glass pitcher of Suntory Haku vodka with a stick of charcoal filter

Part of the unique creation process behind Haku, the bamboo charcoal filtration is a Suntory proprietary method. Like a sponge, the charcoal absorbs most/many impurities present in the distillate, eliminating things that might detract from the taste.” We have to distinguish that it doesn't remove all of the impurities, but rather most or many and it doesn't eliminate "anything. This gives the vodka a clean and clear flavor. Moreover, the minerals from the bamboo charcoal add a remarkably smooth and mellow character. The use of bamboo charcoal for water filtration is one of the fundamentals of Japanese culture and goes back to ancient Japan where charcoal was said to “sweeten” the water for tea. It is known for its incredible filtering ability, which comes from its super-porous structure. As bamboo is a fast-growing plant, supply is abundant and sustainable in Japan.

A Unique Process with Three Different Distillations

First, the white rice is fermented with “rice koji” to create a mash. The mash is then distilled through pot stills to create a rice spirit. This process takes place in Kagoshima, in Kyushu, a region historically famous for its rice spirit making know-how. The distillate is then distilled a second time through two different processes to create both flavor and volume, before being blended and filtrated in Osaka, at Suntory’s Liquor Atelier. A process unique to Suntory, it preserves and enhances the rice’s delicately sweet and subtle flavors.

Osumi Distillery
Japanese man staring at distilling syringe inside a percolator facing the viewer

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Founded in 1899, Shinjiro Torii built the House of Suntory with a singular vision: to craft quintessentially Japanese spirits that would suit the delicate palate of his people.

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