Suntory Whisky Kakubin

The cornerstone of Japanese whisky

Blended to achieve perfect balance, Kakubin has become the cornerstone of not just Suntory Whisky, but of Japanese whisky itself. Originally called “Suntory Whisky”, it’s affectionately referred to as “Kakubin”, meaning square bottle. Our signature blend is embraced for its uniquely Japanese flavors and aromas accentuated with key notes of whiskies from three distilleries – Yamazaki, Hakushu and Chita. At once refined and complex, Kakubin remains Japan’s best-selling* whisky.

*IWSR Drinks Market Analysis, 2021

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Perfected with time

Kakubin was first created in 1937 by Shinjiro Torii, Suntory's founder and first Master Blender, who over time perfected his understanding of whiskies Japanese people would enjoy. With its slightly fruity aroma, rich flavor, and pleasantly dry finish, Kakubin is a highly versatile whisky for any occasion.

A perfectly balanced whisky

The original whisky was delicate and bright, with a sweet, honeyed aroma and a dry malty finish. Importantly, it was perfect both sipped neat and mixed into long drinks, which suited local Japanese drinking styles. Much like the bottle, the flavor has evolved over the years as multiple master blenders have developed and further refined Kakubin’s signature Japanese style. Of course, it will always remain true to its original flavor and balance, the pride of Shinjiro Torii.

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Three distilleries, one extraordinary whisky

Kakubin is a careful blend of whiskies from three distinct Suntory distilleries: Yamazaki, Chita, and Hakushu. Crafted from a diverse set of component whiskies spanning a wide variety of fermentation, distillation, and cask aging techniques, the ideal balance was created to deliver a multi-layered whisky that is surprisingly versatile.

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Designed with purpose

Originally named “Suntory Whisky”, it was soon referred to as Kakubin because of the bottle’s unusual shape – “Kaku” meaning square, and “bin” meaning bottle. Designed that way for easy storage, it was adorned with the auspicious tortoise shell pattern called Kame-wa, which represents good fortune, longevity and strength. Since its release, Kakubin has been honored to feature the signature of Shinjiro Torii, showing the pride he felt in the first product that truly realized his lifelong ambition.

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The Kaku Highball

Also called the “Kaku High”, the Kaku Highball may very well be Japan’s most beloved cocktail. Many traditional Japanese spirits have long been lengthened with ice and water to soften their profile and allow more complex flavors to shine through, and Kakubin is no exception. In the 1950s, Suntory opened thousands of “Tory’s” bars, celebrating Japanese whisky in mixed drinks – inspired in part by American bar culture, and the Highball became the most popular of these drinks. More recently, the Kaku Highball experienced a resurgence in Japan, including new canned and draught versions. Today, the Kaku Highball is the ideal meal-time refreshment, or the perfect cocktail any time.

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More to explore

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