Hakushu was the third distillery built by Suntory, established in 1973 to shoulder some of the malt production burden for Yamazaki. The latter’s grain production had moved entirely to the new Chita distillery the year prior as well. Hakushu was built at the foot of the Southern Japan Alps, a location deliberately chosen by Suntory to provide a contrast to the style of spirit produced at Yamazaki. Interestingly, a second distillery was built in 1981 (referred to as Hakushu East) which has stills of varying shapes and sizes which are able to produce a wide range of distillate character. This is in contrast to the now-dormant old site (referred to as Hakushu West) which had 24 large stills identical in shape and size, but only capable of producing one particular style of distillate. The first Hakushu single malt was bottled in 1994.
This age statement was discontinued as of June 2018.