If you’re still getting over the news of the Japanese whisky shortage from earlier this month, brace yourself. Suntory announced it will stop selling Hakushu 12 Year and Hibiki 17 Year in 2018 and there are no plans to bring them back in the foreseeable future.
“We are very sorry for the temporary discontinuation,” a Suntory representative told Quartz. “We have already invested on the distillery and warehouse, and we will continue various investments to meet the market demand.”
Sales of Hakushu will stop in June and Hibiki sales will stop in September. More than a decade ago, the company had to decide how much whisky to lay down to age. They didn’t predict that the Japanese whisky category as a whole would become so popular so quickly, and now companies are having to cut back. Previous sales halts include Kakubin Black Label 43 Degrees in 2016 and Hibiki 12 Year in 2015. The latest bottles to fall victim to the shortage hit hardest yet—Supercall named Hakushu 12 Year one of the top Japanese whiskies.
“It will take quite a long time before we can restart sales of the products,” a Suntory representative told Nikkei Asian Review. “We will give top priority to quality, and market the products by emphasizing quality over quantity.”
Suntory has doubled production since 2008, but you can’t speed up time. So if you happen to have a bottle of Hakushu 12 Year or Hibiki 17 Year, sip it slow and enjoy it while you can.