Our History

Old photo of the House of Suntory building


In 1923, Shinjiro Torii envisioned a whisky filled with the essence of Japanese nature and crafted by artisans through a patient process of enhancing the work of nature. He achieved that dream, and today we are a House of three generations of Japanese artisans inspired by Japanese nature, crafting world-class spirits rooted in a century of tradition. We do more than create high-quality spirits; we embody the Japanese philosophy and traditions that are a full expression of everything we make. Here’s to another century!

A picture of Shinjiro Torii, the founder of House of Suntory

The Founder

Shinjiro Torii was born in the Meiji Period, when Western culture and civilization suddenly flowed into Japan. At a young age, Torii entered into an apprenticeship at a pharmaceutical wholesaler in Osaka that carried Western liquors. There he engaged in stylish Western pursuits and mastered techniques of mixing, then developed a discriminating palate and nose. He mastered techniques of mixing and blending through his apprenticeships. 

In the year 1899, Shinjiro Torii went independent, renting a modest house where generations of pursuit of a dream all started.

Explore Our Journey Through Time

A picture of Shinjiro Torii in his younger years


Shinjiro Torii founded the Torii Shoten store in Osaka.


Image of old Akadama Port Wine advertisement


Akadama Port Wine, a sweet grape wine, blended by Shinjiro Torii, is introduced and becomes a huge success.

Old image of House of Suntory Plant in Osaka


Shinjiro Torii establishes the Suntory Plant in Osaka.

Old photo of Yamazaki Distillery in Japan


The Yamazaki Distillery, Japan’s first malt whisky distillery, starts construction on the outskirts of Kyoto.

A bottle of Suntory Shirofuda, white label


Suntory Shirofuda (white label) is introduced as Japan’s first whisky, but fails. Torii learns that satisfying the delicate palate of the Japanese people is the main criteria of success.

Suntory's first Gin, Hermes Gin


Suntory introduces its first gin, Hermes Gin

Old photo of bottle of Suntory Whisky Kakubin


Suntory Whisky Kakubin (“square bottle”) is introduced and becomes the heart and soul of Japanese whisky.  Kakubin remains Japan's top-selling whisky by value today. *Source: IWSR 2022

Suntory's first Vodka, Hermes Vodka


Suntory introduces its first vodka, Hermes Vodka.

Master blender Keizo Saji is nosing whisky


Keizo Saji becomes Suntory’s second Master Blender.

Whisky barrel from Chita Distillery


Keizo Saji establishes the Chita Distillery on the Chita Peninsula.

Hakushu Distillery with twin spire roof


The Hakushu distillery is established in the deep forest of the Japanese Southern Alps to commemorate the 50th anniversary of Japanese Whisky.

Yamazki 12 year with old fanshioned glass of amber whisky


Suntory Single Malt Whisky Yamazaki is introduced.

Hibiki whisky in iconic round bottle


Suntory Whisky Hibiki is introduced.

Green bottle of Suntory Hakushu whisky


Suntory Single Malt Whisky Hakushu is introduced.

Master blender Shingo Torii is nosing whisky


Shingo Torii becomes the House of Suntory’s 3rd Master Blender.



Suntory wins ISC Distiller of the Year for a third consecutive year, and fourth time in total



Suntory Single Grain Whisky Chita and Suntory Whisky Toki are introduced.



Roku Gin is launched, meticulously crafted with Japanese botanicals by our master artisans.



Haku Vodka is launched, a premium craft spirit made with 100% Japanese white rice.



Suntory World Whisky Ao is introduced.



The House of Suntory marks an extraordinary 100-year anniversary, celebrating a century of crafting fine Japanese Whiskies.

More to Explore

About House of Suntory

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.

Statue of the founder of the House of Suntory, who shaped Japanese craftsmanship

Our Distilleries

Our distilleries are among the most unique in the world, with true artisanship and precise methods cultivated over generations.

View down the hall of the House of Suntory distillery with walls lined with barrels

Our Products

Our quintessentially Japanese spirits are crafter with a relentless pursuit of perfection, meticulous attention to detail, and commitment to quality.

Old fashioned glass with Suntory whisky over large round ice cube