Suntory Hibiki 12 Year old

Hanami in a bottle

Reviewed by
Connosr member:



25th Oct 2015

Reviewer rating:


About this score:

  • Nose: 24
  • Taste: 22
  • Finish: 21
  • Balance: 22

The average score for this whisky is 87.

Tasting Notes by Frost

I picked this up in a convenience store in Sapporo in a 50ml miniature for under $5! Not your cheap miniature, the bottle is a gorgeous downsized replica of the classic Hibiki decanter glass.

As soon as I pour into the glass, my nose is filled with the beautiful smell. I am hit at arms length away the bouquet of aromas.

Nose: Plums, oranges, vanilla, oak, pineapple, burnt caramel, cinnamon, mustard seed, so very complex

Taste: Oak, pine, vanilla, plums, star anise, orange peel, raspberry jam

Finish: Oak, vanilla, green grapes

This is a light summer drink, so sophisticated and adorable. The use of grain whisky and its blending with the malt is top notch. Of course the core malts are from Yamazaki and Hakushu and grain from Chita distillery. There is apparently whiskies from several other Japanese distilleries, this would be interesting to uncover. My impression is that the Japanese whisky industry is protectionist and seldom trade between each other.

When I acquired this small sample, I had been in Japan for a few weeks. It was my only sighting of the 12. Lucky I have a bottle unopened at home.


Whisky details


Suntory Hibiki







DaveM wrote:

My wife and I were in the liquor store and she told me to pick out a bottle for a Christmas gift. I picked out the Hibiki and now I have to wait until Christmas day.... such is life!

30 October 2015 16:47

Jonesz wrote:

This is a superb dram. I sit here gazing at my empty bottle of Hibiki 12 with a lump in my throat. My good memories of the nose and palate are blended with the knowledge that I gave the last dram to a good friend. Hope the Hibiki Harmony is almost as good. If you find a bottle of Hibiki 12 buy it.

31 October 2015 02:09

Frost wrote:

@DaveM - lucky you found one

@Jonesz - not so long ago I took for granted I could pick this up at the local store any day of the week, not anymore

04 November 2015 06:45

maltmate302 wrote:

For Connosr members in the UK, Tesco have a batch of the Hibiki 12 in 50cl bottles for sale over the Christmas period so stock up as we are unlikely to see this wonderful blend again!

04 November 2015 15:11

Pete1969 wrote:

Tesco have it at £37 Booths have it stocked year round at £38. There are some good bottles hitting the shelves this year I have seen Glenfiddich, talisker and Lagavulin distillers editions in supermarkets.

05 November 2015 03:57

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