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Suntory World Whisky Ao Review

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Suntory World Whisky Ao Review - bottle label and glass

World Whisky Ao
A Blend Of Five Major Whiskies
43% ABV
MSRP: $55 / 700ml

Please enjoy our Suntory World Whisky Ao Review!

A World Whisky

Suntory World Whisky Ao truly is a “world whisky”. The Ao features whiskies from Suntory’s distilleries in five of the world’s whisky regions, creating a unique blend of flavors. Whiskies from the following distilleries are used: Ardmore and Glen Garioch in Scotland; Cooley in Ireland; Alberta in Canada; Jim Beam in the US; Yamazaki and Hakushu in Japan.

The name Ao means “blue”. The color blue signifies the oceans that unite the continents where each whisky region sits. The bottle is five sided, also signifying these five whisky regions.

Initially Available In Japan And Global Travel Retail

Suntory World Whisky Ao was initially only available in Japan and in Global Travel Retail. However, it has more recently begun arriving in some other countries. It will very soon become available in the US (early 2023). In fact, I found a review from a Japanese website from 2019, so this whisky actually has been around for a little while.

Suntory World Whisky Ao Review - Full Bottle
Tasting Notes – Suntory World Whisky Ao Review

Let’s taste it:

🛏 Rested for 15 minutes in a Glencairn

👉🏻Nose: Sweet apples and pears with light caramel and a bit of peat; some fruity tanginess, too, perhaps from pineapple; moderate alcohol
👉🏻Taste: Fairly soft, with sweet apple, soft caramel, mild black tea, light oak, char and mild peat
👉🏻Finish: The peat becomes progressively more noticeable in the long finish, and is joined by moderate spice and a bit of barrel char and oak; some fruit and sweetness linger as well. Moderate burn.

The peat is noticeable throughout, so you likely need to be a fan of some smoke to enjoy this one. In the nose, the apples and pears are up front, with the peat more subtle, and in the background. However, it becomes progressively more noticeable through the sip, becoming dominant in the long finish, where it is joined by some spice and barrel char, with lingering fruit. After that first sip, the peat in the nose has given up its back row seat and moved more to the front as well.

Suntory World Whisky AO Is A Sum Of All Of Its Parts

Suntory has achieved their goal of making a unique world blend of whiskies, or is it whiskeys? Since the blend includes whiskies spelled both with and without the “e”, either spelling would be correct. Nonetheless, the flavors blend very nicely. To me, the more dominant flavors are the peat, which I am assuming is coming from the Hakushu and perhaps the Ardmore, and Irish Whiskey flavors, presumably from the Cooley. In addition, Beam adds its character in the background. Unfortunately I am not familiar enough with all of the whiskies in this blend to identify each component, but those who are may enjoy further dissecting the flavors.


If you are looking for an interesting blend of whiskies, and enjoy a bit of peat, then consider giving Suntory World Whisky Ao a try! Cheers!🥃

We hope you have enjoyed our Suntory World Whisky Ao Review! If you would like to learn more about a bourbon from one of the constituent distilleries, check out our Jim Beam Bourbon Review!

Thank you to Beam Suntory / House of Suntory for graciously providing this sample for my review!

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