With the recent release of the latest James Bond film Skyfall, I thought it may be fun to post a connection between JB and Japanese whisky, though the video’s below might only represent a tentative connection. Suntory White Label Blend gets a nod in the novel ‘You Only Live Twice’, so Ian Fleming was certainly familiar with Japanese whisky as far back as 1962 when he travelled around Japan for the second time accompanied by Australian friend Richard Hughes and Tiger Saito, both journalists. Fleming did visit Japan in 1959, but only for 3 days which casts doubt as to whether he would have learnt of Japanese whisky on that trip. The novel itself was first published in March 1964.
There have been some classic advertisements from Suntory utilising celebrity power for the Japanese market. So, long before Bill Murray introduced the world to, “For Relaxing Times, Make It Suntory Time” in Sofia Coppola’s ‘Lost in Translation’, there was the following starring Sean Connery(Bill was drinking Hibiki 17, Sean Crest 12).