Whisky Review – The Hakushu Single Malt Whisky – Distiller’s Reserve

The Hakushu Single Malt Whisky – Distiller’s Reserve
43% ABV
£39.27 from MasterOfMalt

I haven’t tried an awful lot of Japanese Whisky on this blog. But this weekend it changes, as I have 2 entry level whiskies to try from Suntory, and I’m very much looking forward to the new experience.

First off we have Hakushu Distiller’s reserve. In addition to online availability I have also seen this one in Sainsbury’s for £42.00. It’s quite light in colour, here goes with the notes.


Fresh, bright, lively nose. Clean citrus fruits. Lemon juice and pith, grapefruit, green apples. Light vanilla with a touch of pepper. This is very sniffable and juicy. A very summery nose. There is a touch of waxiness to the oak coming through after a few minutes in the glass. For a non aged statement, it certainly gives the impression of some well aged Whisky in my glass. With more time we have sweet shop notes, some sherbert, casting sugar sweetness, some fudge and light toffee also. We have some evergreen floral notes. There is also in the very very background the slightest hint of smoke, like a pine tree burning miles away.


Sweet, crisp, clean arrival. Then the citrus fruits come forward, juicy and crisp, grapefruit and lemons with sugar on them. I’m also getting a little faint touch of soft melon. Slight touch of pepper spice. Then chewier, toffee, but fruity toffee, like old toffo sweets from years back. Thick vanilla. The mouthfeel is creamy and coating. Throughout development it’s very luxurious feeling, this really has as much as a feel of flavour as the flavour itself. Surprising to realise this is at 43%. It doesn’t feel like it.


Medium – long finish. A gentle reminder of the citrus, with some grapefruit, a touch of sweet smoke, and something green and piny. The oak remains at the very end soaking in sweet syrupy fruit juices.

Adding water.

Just a few drops added. More of the green floral notes are forward now. Pine. Evergreen. The citrus is not so evident on the nose. The palate is now sweeter and more about the sugars, with some of the citrus notes returning in the development. Still velvety on the mouth, and has spice and heart. The finish is more about the oak and with a greater level of sweet smokiness. Personally I prefer without water as it has more fruit juices going on, which I personally enjoy, but it’s one to explore with a few drops of water as it may bring out something that’s better for your palate than mine.


This is a delightful Whisky. Perfect for summer. Compliments a meal nicely on a warmer night as the heat of the day lingers and fades. Lots of lovely sweetness and good citrus fruits, beautifully luxurious on the mouth and has a great ‘feel’ to it. I can easily drink this as a session Whisky, and one which would be good for a reference point before tasting, there is lots to enjoy for the seasoned Whisky drinker in seeking out the flavours as well as with the general Whisky drinker who would just plain love sipping on this for hours.

A massive Thank you must go to Suntory Whisky for providing the review sample.


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