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I have become quite a fan of Japanese whisky (especially those of Nikka) and was looking forward to tasting this offering from Suntory. I'm still a fan of Japanese whisky but less a fan of Hibiki.
Nose: Quite fruity: plums (think of exceptionally dry Gekkeikan plum wine) and a bit of cherry juice. Assertive oak; estery; grains are a bit lost among all the fruit and oak. Some shy sherry notes in the background.
Palate: Very light and mostly dry. The wood influence appears quickly and takes over producing a bitterness that lingers and finally closes things out.
Finish: Drying with the oak tannins holding court.
This is an unbalanced blend as the wood overwhelms the light character of the spirit. Seventeen years seems a bit too long for this dram and I would like to try one of the younger Hibikis (the 12 yo or their new NAS expression).