Beam Suntory has announced the launch of Suntory World Whisky ‘Ao’, which is blended using whisky from five distilleries around the world.

The spirit producer’s latest offering, which it claims is the ‘first-ever world-blended whisky’, is available in 16 markets exclusively to global travel retail.

Ao is a Japanese word that describes blue (and green) colours, and the whisky is named after the oceans that connect the five distilleries, located in Japan, Scotland, Ireland, Canada and the US.

The distinctive climate, fermentation and distillation processes in each whisky-making region give the whisky its ‘unique’ taste, which includes notes of vanilla, tropical fruit and cinnamon.

Suntory chief blender Shinji Fukuyo, who selected the five whiskies, 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.”

Ed Stening, global head of travel retail marketing at Beam Suntory International, added: “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.”

Suntory World Whisky ‘Ao’ has an RRP of €65 or $71.

Beam Suntory recently acquired premium pre-mixed cocktail brand On The Rocks for an undisclosed sum, in a move to grow its spirits-based ready-to-drink portfolio.