Japan’s Suntory Celebrates Rolling Stones’ 50th With Limited Edition Whisky


There’s lots of hoopla going around to celebrate the Rolling Stones turning 50. Concerts are coming up next week in London and in early December in Newark, New Jersey. A new 3-disc, 50-song greatest-hits box set, GRRR!, comes out next week as well. A new documentary about the band, Crossfire Hurricane, is hitting HBO and the BBC and theaters next week, joining another documentary on the band that’s now playing theaters, Charlie Is My Darling.

And keep your eyes peeled for the massive Stones coffee-table book. Right about now, you can’t escape the Stones — heck, you can even drink up to Mick, Keith and the boys with a special line of drinks being sold in Japan.[more]

Japan’s Suntory beverage behemoth (best known beyond Japan for Bill Murray’s “Suntory Time” commercial in Lost in Translation) has made 2012 the year of the Rolling Stones, with a Stones Bar series celebrating the anniversary and stirring up such boozy tributes to the band as Rolling Hop beer, Rolling Gold “bottled cocktail,” and a Citrus Highball. 

Now Suntory (which develops customized drinks for Japanese tastebuds such as wacky-flavored Pepsi varieties) is outdoing itself with the ultimate Stones-themed alcoholic beverage: a limited-edition whisky. How limited? Only 150 bottles were released on Oct. 30.

The “whisky is a blend of carefully selected malts distilled and casked in milestone years throughout the band’s 50 year history, including a malt from the year the band formed that has been long-aged in mizunara (Japanese oak) casks.” It comes in a crystal bottle (even though crystal is for the 15th anniversary) that has the lips and tongue logo cut in relief on the front of the bottle as well as a diamond-shaped decorative stopper.

According to Suntory’s press release, its flavors mark specific milestones in the band’s history:

1962: The Rolling Stones formed (Yamazaki malt)

1971: Lips and tongue logo completed (Yamazaki malt)

1972: Exile on Main Street, the album including “Rocks Off” (used in Suntory TV commercials) is released (Yamazaki malt)

1981: Signature song Start Me Up released (Yamazaki malt)

1990: First performance in Japan’s Tokyo Dome (Hakushu malt, Chita grain)

The band’s new single, appropriately, is called “One More Shot.”