Hibiki – Japanese Harmony
£51.46 From Master of Malt
Very fruity from the first pour. Lots of ripe apples, oranges and bananas, a real fruit bowl of a whisky. There’s a level of waxiness to these fruits, suggesting some age despite the non-age-statement nature of this whisky. There is some vanilla cream. Buttered popcorn, presumably from the corn whisky element of this blend. Light pepper and cinnamon bring the spice portion of the nose, with an overlying creaminess. Some pleasant, gentle, alcohol soaked oak is present with added time in the glass.
Lovely remarkable balance to this whisky. No flavour outshines another. We have loads of fruit, in the form of oranges, banana, some light ripe cherry. Lots of creamy vanilla, with touches of pepper and all spice. The mouthfeel is quite oily and coating. We have lots of thick honey and Creme brûlée. It’s a luscious sweetness, with a touch of oak influence added in.
Gentle fading for a medium length. The boiled fruit mix fades slowly, with a touch of oak spice providing a little heat in the mouth. Light oak remains at the very end with some cherry stones. Warming and moreish.
Added the smallest drop, because quite frankly, it doesn’t need it. The nose has become lighter. More oak and the fruit has become more citrus focused, lemon sherbert. The palate has less oiliness now, it’s still quite flavoursome, but there is something missing with the dilution. The finish is very juicy, concentrating on the new, lighter citrus elements. Personally I prefer this one undiluted, but it does have some merits in trying with a drop of water. It’s all personal taste.
This whisky is lovely, a great example of what excellence Japanese whisky can adhere to. Beautiful balance, thoroughly quaffable. A bit expensive for a session dram, but it will be the best quality session you have for a long time. It would be just brilliant to try this at 46%! 😉
Thanks so much to Suntory for providing the sample.