Thursday, September 24, 2009

First Taste: Hibiki 12 Year Old Japanese Blended Whisky

There's a small subset of whisky lovers who treasure Japanese malts and blends, but for too long, little of the good stuff has been widely available here. True, the overall subtlety of most tend to remind one more of Canadian whiskys than most single malt Scotches, but still, they can be exquisitely refined and sippable. In Hibiki 12 Year Old Japanese Blended Whisky, distiller Suntory finishes aged malt whisky in plum wine casks and blends it with other malts and some grain whiskies, then filters it through bamboo charcoal. The result? A light grainy nose, with a hint of white flowers, rising bread dough and an evocative note of raspberries ripening on the vine in the summer sun. In the mouth, it’s crisp, exceedingly drying, with lots of mouth-watering acids, and a candied lemon peel tang backing up the malt expression. Hibiki finishes extremely long, with an airy and fresh lightness and crisp raspberry tang. It's a lovely and expressive whisky. 43% abv (Skyy Spirits).

My score: 7

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