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Suntory Hakushu 18 Year Old

Whisky Exploration At Helvetica!

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@SquidgyAshReview by @SquidgyAsh

19th Sep 2012


  • Nose
  • Taste
  • Finish
  • Balance
  • Overall

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My wife and I recently went to Helvetica with her sister and brother in law. Being whisky lovers spending some time at the local whisky bar is just a few short steps from heaven.

Heaven being time spent in Kentucky, Scotland or Japan visiting distilleries.

I'd cruised their drinks menu before heading in and two whiskies that had caught my eye were two Springbanks, an 11 yr old cask strength aged in Madeira wood and a 12 yr old cask strength aged in Claret wood.

They'd caught my eye because the Campbeltown region is probably the region I've had the least amount experience with when it comes to the whisky regions of Scotland.

However while we're going over the menu and I'm getting ready to order the Springbank Madeira Wood to start with I see something that looks so bloody good.

The Hakushu 18 year old.

I show it to my wife and we both grin. Hakushu 12 year old is hands down our favorite Japanese whisky.

We can't wait to get our hands on the 18 year old!

Even if is three times the price of the Springbanks.

I come back and hand my wife the glass of Hakushu. It's only fitting that she get to try it first.

She noses the glass, looks over at me as her face drops then decides to take a drink. Her face completely falls at that point as she hands me the glass.

She is not a happy wife.

She looks at me and goes "boring, bland, lame."

I decide to nose the whisky and I'll be honest, I've been more impressed.

Floral with oak and hints of apple and vanilla. But so much more mellow and boring compared to the 12 year old.

Time for a taste, hopefully it's better.

Little bit of spice, mainly cinnamon, apples, and lots and lots of toffee.

Pretty much just toffee.

Finish is long and dry with oak.

What the hell?!

Where is the Japanese whisky that I know and love.

This is boring and unbalanced. No peat, no great deal of complexity.

And the price point!

A pain to find and it'll run you a measily $250 AUS as compared to the reasonable price of the Hakushu 12 years old $120 to $150 AUS.

Avoid this whisky. Go for the 12 year old. It's by far a better whisky.

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