Aged Spirits  

Fahrenheit 173 - Aged Spirits

"If it's not good enough to drink slowly, then it's not worth drinking"

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. Dis­ap­point­ing finish. (85 p)

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. (86 p)

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. (88 p)

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. (87 p)

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. (90 p)

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