Japanese whisky: Hibiki, Hakushu and Yamazaki
| 14 Feb 2010 |
Suntory is the oldest producer of whisky in Japan. Their Yamazaki distillery
was opened as early as 1923. Their second distillery, Hakushu, was opened in 1973.
At the Linköping Whisky Expo I tried a few
expressions of single malt from these two distilleries, as well as two expressions
of Hibiki, a blended whisky.
Hibiki 12 y.o.:
Fragrant, herbal, nice nose with oak shavings and vanilla. Light palate with nice notes of
green fruits but unfortunately the fruits fade too soon. Develops oak and turns fairly dry.
Hibiki 17 y.o.:
Rather nice nose with oak and vanilla, also fruity. Light, sweet, very nice palate with vanilla
and citrus. Develops oak and spices. Similar to the 12 y.o. but fruitier, a little richer and a little nicer.
Hakushu 18 y.o.:
Very nice nose: complex, subtle, herbal and grassy with fruity candy, oak shavings and vanilla. The
palate is fairly rich - at first sweet with vanilla and citrus, then drying and develops oak.
Very nicely balanced.
Yamazaki 10 y.o.:
Very nice nose with oak, vanilla and citrus, also a little flowery. Light, clean palate
(über-clean in fact), smooth and sweet, develops spices. Makes a great apéritif.
Yamazaki Sherry Cask 48%:
Wonderful nose with sherry, vanilla and hints of coconut and turpentine. Rich, full flavour,
at first spicy with gingerbread then develops dried fruits and honey. Quite oaky but with a
lovely balance between oak and sherry.
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