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I wanted my first review on Connosr to be like talking about an old friend and although i've only be acquainted with Japanese whisky for about a year, I'm never without the Suntory Hibiki 12 yo in my cabinet. In fact i'm on my third bottle, which has nearly gone.
Suntory say that included with the 12 and 30 year old malt in this blend is whisky from casks formerly used in long-term aging of Japanese plum liqueur. It certainly is a smooth and refreshing dram but still full of complexity. I find myself reaching for the bottle far too often! It comes in a great looking decanter which has 24 'facets', which Suntory say represents both the hours in a day and the many seasons according to the lunar calendar. Umm, not sure about the zen in that, but it sure looks nice!
In the glass it's a brilliant amber in color. On the nose its 'summer in a glass', immediately delivering a fruity bouquet, plums, summer flowers and meadows, followed by sweet honey and vanilla. I reminds me of those Japanese paintings of their beautiful ornamental gardens. I spend ages nosing this one, its a delight.
On the palate, it's unbelievably smooth, with honey, vanilla, slight oak, peel and a hint of citrus, not too sweet and with a spicy edge too. The mouthfeel is surprising big with a decently long finish thats not over-drying. After a while you're left with that slightly spicy taste to it also.
I have to say that this is an amazing blend and I can't recommend it highly enough, for under £40 (2010/11) you simply cant go wrong having this spectacular blend with its stylish decanter in your cabinet.
Go get it and find a new friend.