My first sip of a great Japanese single-malt whisky was back in 2004, when the 18-year-old Yamazaki was first introduced into the U.S. I found its suave smoothness and elegance as sleek as a new Lexus. It had the familiar spicy, caramel-and-honey notes of a luxury single malt from Scotland but with its own exotic appeal from partial aging in Japanese mizunara oak.
Billionaire Nobutada Saji’s Suntory Holdings Ltd. got a cool reception for its acquisition of whiskey maker Beam Inc. as rating companies threatened a downgrade and investors predicted rising borrowing costs.
The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index fell for the week, after touching an all-time high, as weaker-than- estimated earnings at companies from Citigroup Inc. to CSX Corp. offset an improving outlook for the global economy.
Suntory Holdings Ltd., the closely held Japanese whiskey and beer maker, agreed to buy Beam Inc. for $16 billion including debt to gain brands such as Maker’s Mark whiskey and create the world’s third-largest premium spirits company.