Asia: Japan's Rising Suntory

Since the Caesars, conquering armies have left their marks behind: Roman baths in Britain, Moorish palaces in Spain, whisky in Japan. Last year Japanese distilleries produced 9,000,000 gallons of whisky—two-thirds of which flowed from Kotobukiya, the country's oldest and largest distiller. Kotobukiya's prestige brew is "Old Suntory," a light, Scotch-type whisky that derives its musky flavor partly from imported Scottish peat and partly from Japanese water purified by filtering through lava beds. Old Suntory is palatable enough that Kotobukiya now exports it to 20 countries. But, says President Keizo Saji, 43,...

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