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Suntory Hibiki 12 Year Old

Hanami in a bottle

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@FrostReview by @Frost

25th Oct 2015


Suntory Hibiki 12 Year Old
  • Nose
  • Taste
  • Finish
  • Balance
  • Overall

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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.

Related Suntory Hibiki reviews


DaveM commented

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!

8 years ago 0

Jonesz commented

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.

8 years ago 0

Frost commented

@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

8 years ago 0

maltmate302 commented

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!

8 years ago 0

Pete1969 commented

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.

8 years ago 0

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