Suntory, the Japanese drinks firm, has launched Hibiki 12-year-old whisky in the UK as it looks to expand the brand on the world stage.

Hibiki 12-year-old, bottled at 43% abv, will be priced at between GBP39.99 and GBP42.99 per bottle and will be available from whisky specialist retailers across the UK, Suntory said, launching the product in London last week.

"London was chosen as the stage for the world launch due to the growing interest and demand for Suntory premium whiskies in the UK and to further support the Hibiki brand positioning on the world stage, by introducing it to whisky connoisseurs in an international capital," Suntory said.

Seiichi Koshimizu, Suntory's chief blender, said: "Hibiki is a niche brand and we understand that not many people can afford to buy such premium whiskies. By adding Hibiki 12 year-old to the range we seek to make the brand more affordable to whisky enthusiasts and to increase awareness of the marvellous flavours of Japanese whisky."

The Hibiki Premium Blended Range is distributed in the UK by Cellar Trends.

just-drinks will interview Suntory's head of European operations, Hiro Myamori, later this week.