Seiichi Koshimizu – 2015

Seiichi Koshimizu was born in Yamanashi, Japan in 1949 and, after studying at the local university, began his long career in whisky when he joined Suntory Limited at their Tamagawa Plant in 1973.

Perhaps his first meeting with whisky was setting up an Astronomy Society whilst at university and enjoying a dram under the stars, a love he has never lost.

He worked initially on the research of whisky maturation at the Central Research Institute, and the Food & Beverage Research Laboratory, and was responsible for the development of blended whisky products. He brought many of his own innovative methods to the traditional whisky-making process, such as Bamboo Charcoal Filtration and Japanese Oak (‘Mizunara’) Cask Maturation.

In 1985, Seiichi Koshimizu started working at the Yamazaki Distillery outside Kyoto where he became manager of cask filling, dumping and blending production.

He was involved in Hibiki 30 Years Old, Yamazaki 50 Years Old and many other Suntory whiskies during his time with the company.

Over recent years, Koshimizu’s public profile has risen considerably, having appeared on national television in Japan in a documentary outlining his work as a blender, written many books aimed at whisky consumers and travelled to trade shows around the world in countries such as Taiwan, Russia and the United States.

In 1999 he was appointed Chief Blender and in 2014 became Chief Blender Emeritus, the first person to hold this position within Suntory.

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