Suntory Haku Vodka
Founded in 1899, the House of Suntory was built on one man’s dream. Shinjiro Torii wanted to enrich the lives of his people. Against the backdrop of the Japanese Meiji era, a period of rapid modernization during which Japan opened its eyes to the west for inspiration, young Shinjiro grew into an entrepreneur, maker and doer. The sophistication of western wines and spirits — their cultural depth and wealth, rituals and savoir faire — inspired Shinjiro. He wanted not only to blend imported liquors, but develop quintessentially Japanese spirits for his people.
Contrary to what the West may perceive, Japanese white rice is never considered as a "staple" as 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.
Part of Haku’s unique creation process, the bamboo charcoal filtration is a Suntory proprietary method. Like a sponge, the charcoal absorbs the impurities present in the distillate, eliminating anything that might detract from the taste. 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 — 3 times more porous cavities per gram than other wood charcoal. As bamboo is a fast-growing plant, supply is abundant and sustainable in Japan.
The product design harmonizes the Japanese traditional aesthetic with an evolving modernity. To convey it as a Japanese Craft Vodka, we use Japanese material with a touch of artisanal quality — simple and pure. Through the curved lines on the bottle, we represent the stream glistening through Japanese nature and Japan’s four seasons. The label design consists of Junpaku (pure-white) washi paper — representing the beauty of Japanese white rice, which is the soul of this vodka — and Kanji calligraphy “Haku” with sumi ink, as well as red and gold colors only. The result: a minimal and modern Japanese design, free of unnecessary adornments.
At Suntory, the artisans of the House are committed to select the best ingredients and define complex and innovative making technics to achieve an unrivalled quality and a unique Japanese character, signature of the House of Suntory's "Monozokuri" craftsmanship. Haku is a new illustration of that philosophy inherited from Shinjiro Torii's vision of challenge and quest of excellence.
Nose: A soft aroma played up by the sweet, dedicate floral aroma of rice.
Palate: A rich taste that gradually envelops the mouth with the natural sweetness and complex flavor of the rice.
Finish: A smooth finish with a sophisticated, pleasantly lingering sweetness thanks to the bamboo charcoal filtration process.