Beam Suntory celebrates Scotland’s whisky heritage by capturing it through a Japanese lens for their new Scotch whisky brand. Chief Blender for Scotch, Calum Fraser, in partnership with Suntory’s blending team, tested nearly 200 different whisky combinations before arriving at the final harmony of flavours that make up ARDRAY. The balanced blended recipe interweaves some of Scotland’s finest, most complex signature malts and grain whiskies together to an optimal precise ratio. The result is a whisky designed to challenge preconceptions, treating both malt and grain whiskies as equals to create a whisky that is truly greater than the sum of its parts.
With inspiration from historic blend styles and the vision of Suntory’s founder Shinjiro Torii, ARDRAY celebrates the quest to reimagine the historic excellence of blended scotch and encourage a greater appreciation for the art of blending. A hundred years ago, inspired by traditional Scottish whisky, Torii-San envisioned a Japanese approach to create a subtle, refined, yet complex whisky that would suit the delicate palate of the Japanese. With this remarkable blend, Beam Suntory honours Torii’s quest, from a reinterpretation of Scotch for the Japanese palate to ARDRAY: a new interpretation, designed to celebrate the excellence of blended Scotch Whisky.
Built on the premise that blended whisky is an art form that deserves both respect and reappraisal, each batch is precisely engineered to achieve the same harmony between malt and grain whiskies each time. By retaining a proportion of each batch, the team blends this with the next batch and harmonises the flavour of the whisky across the batches.
Calum Fraser, Chief Blender for Scotch, comments: “In creating ARDRAY, we have combined an exceptional selection of the very best Scotch whisky has to offer with the inspiring talent of Suntory’s blending team to create something new, refreshing and exciting.”
“The time, care and attention to detail taken to source both malt and grain whiskies from some of Scotland’s most noted distilleries has allowed us to explore hundreds of blends of Scotch malt and grain whiskies to achieve ARDRAY’s optimum balance of multi-layered flavours.”
“Driven by the desire to ensure the true beauty of this blend is greater than the sum of its parts. ARDRAY promises a rich and complex taste, with a distinctive harmony of flavours: a mild, gently floral, and citrusy fruitiness, with a vanilla custard creaminess and a rich, silky mouthfeel and lengthy aftertaste that is unmatched.”
Drawing from just a handful of the finest Scotch distilleries from Beam Suntory, a world leader in premium spirits and producer of renowned whiskies including Bowmore, Laphroaig, Yamazaki, and Hibiki, and their partners at Edrington (owners of The Macallan, The Glenrothes and Highland Park), this blended Scotch whisky that celebrates the role of terroir and the production traditions of Scotland’s distilleries that define each of their unique spirit character.
Presented in a bespoke bottle each marked with the year of release, the striking artwork of artist Lia Melia adorns each one, capturing Scotland’s raw beauty. Its richly textured rippling pattern representing malt and grain highlights two fundamental ingredients in Scotch whisky. The unique feel of the glass bottle takes after the free-flowing water of Scotland’s streams and rivers, and the patterns made by the wind blowing across barley fields.
From the end of May 2023 onwards, a limited batch of under two thousand nine-litre cases of ARDRAY will be for sale in only four cities worldwide: London, Shanghai, Los Angeles, and New York. It will then expand to become available in more markets globally.
For more information, visit Ardray.com.
- ABV: 48% and Non-Chill filtered to make the most of the full complex character of the whiskies in the blend
- A malt rich blend of Scottish Malt and Grain Whiskies, blended in annual batches to achieve a unique harmony of flavours – the recipe will be adjusted according to the precise characteristics of the casks used in each batch
- Aroma: hints of apple, pear, plum lying over a soft savoury smokiness and hints of oregano and clementine.
- Taste: gentle floral and citrus fruitiness providing a lightness and elegance. As it expands its vanilla custard creaminess and silkiness comes to the fore.
- Mouthfeel: Complex, multi-layered and rich
- Finish: long-lasting, with a mellow, cushioning sweet smokiness and soft hints of white pepper and oregano.