Thursday, February 3, 2011

Whisky Review: Hibiki (Suntory) 17 Year Blended

Hi and Happy Lunar New Year! Rabbits for all! 

Sorry it's been a while, but I've been both sick and busy with massive work. Now that I'm feeling better, I wanted to start a series of blogs by sharing a review of a very special whisky that my friend Lauran gave me for my 30th birthday. It's a well-aged blend of three of Suntory's single malt Japanese whiskies!

Hibiki 17 Year Blended Japanese Whiskey

Nose: Full and very warm. Notes of raisin and perhaps fruitcake. Sherry-like earthiness. Some zesty-grain quality. Hint of pepper? Wonderful and positive.

Drink: Butterscotch, grain, filling the mouth, fiery but pleasant. Hints of sweetness popping up here and there along the dram. Some dried fruit. Perhaps hints of dried peaches soaked in brandy coupled with stony earth. Touches of light maple syrup candy interacting with peppery qualities and a touch of bite. Reminds me a bit of a fuller, more amenable and deep gentler brother of Black Label. Very long. Orange peel - orange bitters. Warming. Coating. Viscous. Even the lasting (60 second+) tail has twists and turns that tuck in and out of sweet and dry. Something complicated with the grain and malting going on, in a good way. Not much peat or smoke at all. Huge without sacrificing dryness or refinement. Classic.

Where to get it: I have no clue, since I got a partial bottle as a gift! Michael Jackson's complete guide didn't even have this in it. Master of Malt in Europe seems to stock it if nothing else.

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