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Suntory Hakushu 12 Year Old

Date Night 3: Helvetica's Hakushu

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@SquidgyAshReview by @SquidgyAsh

30th Apr 2012


  • Nose
  • Taste
  • Finish
  • Balance
  • Overall

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So my wife and I had finally managed to arrive at Helvetica after months of trying. We'd had a Glenfarclas 12 yr old at dinner and we'd opened the night while waiting for my brother and sister in law with a Yamazaki 12 yr old which my wife had been waiting for months to try and had been sadly disappointed by.

My in laws hadn't arrived yet, but my wife and I were ready to try another whisky! Since the Yamazaiki had been a bit of a disappointment I decided to pick up a second japanese whisky for my wife to try.

The Hakushu 12 yr old.

This was a gamble as I literally knew NOTHING about the Hakushu. Never tasted it, never heard of it til I saw it on the menu. Let's give this a shot!

I went up to the bar and ordered the Hakushu 12 yr old and when I did the bartender looked at me and asks if I'd ever tried it before. When I told him no he informs me that I'm in for a treat and that it's unlike any other japanese whisky that I'll have tasted before.

I take the drink back to our table and offer it to my wife. She informs me that she smells peat or smoke along with some fruit. We pass the glass back and forth and come up with:

Nose: A hint of smoke and peat, but JUST a hint. Less then the Talisker 10 yr old. Apples and pears come through with a hint of vanilla. Pears are what's the standout for me.

I then offer my wife the first taste, just as a husband should do for his wife. The flavors were excellent and a world away from the Yamazaki!

The taste: A bit of the fruit, more pear then anything else fruit wise, a bit of alcohol bite, but rather delicate and then I'm beat on the head by a mouthful of pepper. Again I'm reminded of the Talisker 10 yr old. But a fruity version of it! Beautiful!!!

My wife states that she's really enjoying this whisky and that she's curious as to what kind of whisky is this. When I inform her it's a japanese whisky she is quite surprised and informs me that she likes it much better then the Yamazaki.

The finish is very very nice. There's the pear with a bit of peat and the smoke on the tongue and the pepper performing the encore. This is awesome and makes me long for another glass.

First time trying the Hakushu 12 yr old made me fall in love with this whisky.

This is a very good whisky and runs for roughly $150 AUS over here. I'd definitely buy a bottle of this over the Yamazaki 12 yr old.

My in laws still haven't arrived at the bar yet, next on the chopping block is the Glenmorangie Nectar D'or!

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systemdown commented

Love the review! Makes me keen to try my Hakushu 12 sample very soon! I already suspect it's the bottle I need in my upcoming "world malts" tasting that will make for a well-rounded tasting flight.

9 years ago 0

SquidgyAsh commented

Thanks my friend! I hope you enjoy it as much as we did. My brother in law wound up getting a dram of it off my recommendation and as you'll see when I post the final review for that night, it was one of the best whiskies of the night, among a few others.

9 years ago 0

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