In a move liable to give the marketers at banal celebrity tequila brands an aneurysm, the House of Suntory has just announced its new partnership with filmmaker Sofia Coppola and “breathtaking” action star Keanu Reeves – both of whom have collaborated together on a new short film entitled Anniversary Tribute.
A rapid-fire love letter to Suntory’s century of craft and progress, the initiative was announced in New York earlier this Wednesday: along with welcome news that dram lovers will be getting not one, but two 18-year age-statement whiskeys from the legendary Yamazaki and Hakushu distilleries.
These don’t appear in the new film, however, in which Reeves opts to sip Hibiki 21 – Suntory’s signature blended whisky – on the rocks instead.
Dram lovers of a certain age will recognise this new marketing film as a bit of deep-cut fan service. Although the Lost In Translation director’s association with Suntory is well-documented, Reeves’ appointment as Suntory’s ambassador-in-chief actually marks the second time the John Wick star has lent his on-screen chops to the brand. (The first was in 1992, when Reeves was tapped for a weirdly *ahem* steamy Suntory Reserve ad you can watch here.)
In a prepared statement, Reeves said he was “honoured” to once again be partnering with Suntory Whisky after a near 30-year-hiatus. “I’m a huge fan,” he continues, “my admiration for the whisky goes beyond tasting. It’s the elevated Japanese craftsmanship and attention to every detail that makes Suntory Whisky so special. As an actor honing and perfecting my own craft, sharing this process in a docuseries is a thrill.”
We’ll be learning more about the new 100th Anniversary Hakushu and Yamazaki 18 releases next week, so be sure to keep a lookout on the website and over on socials to learn more about tasting notes, availability et cetera.