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Suntory Hibiki Japanese Harmony Master's Select Blended Japanese Whisky (700ml)

JAPAN
$250. 00 Bottle
$3000.00 Dozen
ABV: 43%

Launched in March 2015, this is yet another NAS addition to Suntory's sought after "Hibiki" series. More exclusive than the standard Harmony bottling, it's the first Hibiki created for the global duty free market. A combination of over ten malt and grain whiskies aged in five different types of casks from the Yamazaki, Hakushu and Chita distilleries, Suntory chief blender Shinji Fukuyo was involved in its creation, with production overseen by the third generation Master Blender and great-grandson of Suntory's founder, Shingo Torii. Beautifully presented in the brand's trademark 24-faceted bottle representing the Japanese seasons, the bright brass colour shows impeccable purity. The initial pass finds subdued, resinous, woody aromas with extended air contact finally amplifying the bouquet beyond mediocre, releasing attractive fragrances of dusty cocoa, dates, oak shavings, cinnamon and pepper. Medium bodied, the mid palate expands with dried fruits, hazelnut, light cocoa and peppery warmth. At the finish, there's wood spice and wood shavings followed by a subtle vanilla and honey undercurrent. It improves over time, ending up richer and more robust than most Japanese blends at its level, probably due to some sherry casks in the mix. 43% Alc./Vol.

Other reviews... Some NAS blend and a loco-loco price of more than 100€ a bottle – 250€ at some online crooks’. Of course the older age-stated Hibikis are/were great whiskies, but this is just very scary and feels a bit like extreme cow milking, if you see what I mean. But okay, let’s assume some kind of master actually selected this, and proceed… Colour: gold. Nose: your average American-oak doped young whisky at first, but I have to admit it develops nicely and with unusual traits, such as genever, tapioca, and soft cinnamon. Lacks depth though, while it feels a little too ‘technological’ for me. Nice hints of new tyres, though. Mouth: right, this is good despite the wood that’s too apparent for me. Feels wood-flavoured. Then tangerines and papayas, nectarines, and Greek muscat. And why not? Finish: medium, with a little cedar wood, Turkish delights, and more peaches or nectarines. Comments: feels a bit like whisky made in a lab – you’re right, aren’t they all these days – but of course, they made it well. Very well, actually. Honestly, it’s still worth a solid 82 in my book. 82 points - whiskyfun.com