Alcoholic beverages producer Beam Suntory has announced the launch of its first world blended whisky called Suntory World Whisky ‘Ao’.

‘Ao’ will be global travel retail (GTR) exclusive and available in 16 countries.

Beam Suntory added that its ‘Ao’ will be the first innovative whisky launched in GTR segment since the outbreak of novel coronavirus.

Speaking of the development, Beam Suntory International Travel Retail Marketing Global head Ed Stening said: “This is a truly innovative whisky that blends five very different distilleries’ greatest assets and unique crafts. We couldn’t be more excited to share this exciting innovation with global travel retail.”

The new expression, produced using whisky from five distilleries located in Japan, Scotland, Ireland, Canada and the US, was selected by Suntory chief blender Shinji Fukuyo.

The chief blender picked each whiskey expression based on Suntory’s globally recognised Monozukuri craftsmanship.

In relation to the development, Fukuyo said: “Ao is an exceptional whisky which, through the art of Suntory blending, allows you to enjoy the unique characteristics of all five major whisky-making regions.”

With notes of vanilla, tropical fruit and cinnamon, ‘Ao’ allegedly offers a unique taste, as each whisky was collected from various distilleries and produced in different climate conditions and distillation process.

Last month, Beam Suntory announced the acquisition of ready-to-drink (RTD) cocktail brand On The Rocks (OTR) Premium Cocktails.

Financial details of the deal remain undisclosed.

Beam Suntory previously owned a minority stake in the ready-to-drink cocktail brand, which uses Beam Suntory’s brands in its cocktails range.