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My friend who lives in Queensland Australia, Systemdown, and I decided to trade some whisky samples recently. It allowed us to try more whiskies for less cash in order to discover more whiskies that we both like and dislike.
He'd sent me a Glen Scotia distilled in 1992 and bottled in 2009 by Gordon & Macphail, Dalmore 12 yr old, Old Pulteney 12 yr old, Suntory Hibbiki 17 yr old, Aberlour Abunadh batch 17 and a special mystery malt that very few people have ever got to try.
I've since reviewed the Glen Scotia, the Dalmore 12 yr old and the Old Pulteney 12 yr old.
Tonight was the Suntory Hibiki 17 yr old's turn!
Now I've tried a few other Japanese whiskies before, specifically the Yamazaki 12 yr (over rated in my opinion) and the Hakushu 12 yr old (absolutely brilliant).
When I cracked the sample bottle of Hibiki 17 yr old the very first odor to hit my nose is plums. Lots of plums.
But on top of the plums I get some spices, I think nutmeg and cinnamon, caramel and hints of what I think are fruits, apples and pears specifically.
Very awesome nose, first time I ever got plums off a whisky and very enjoyable.
When I take a sip it goes bitter, feels like oak, peppers with some citrus notes. It feels like there should be more fruit there, but the bitterness is overshadowing it.
The finish starts off fairly bitter and dry and is quite disappointing until you start getting to the aftertaste. There I'm detecting the slightest hint of fruit, feels like pears, but I could be wrong which partially redeems the whisky.
This is a decent whisky, but sadly not a great one. Too much bitterness without much to redeem the bottle. It's not the worst whisky I've ever had, not by a long shot. Not quite sure how much this bottle runs at, but going off The Whisky Exchange I'm going to guess that it'd be a fairly difficult bottle to find in Australia and if you can find it it's likely to run $120+ for a bottle. Which it isn't worth by any means sadly. I'd much rather have the Hakushu 12 yr old over this bottle.
Next up is a bottle I'm really looking forward to!
Aberlour Abunadh Batch 17!