The first Japanese whisky review! My friend introduced me to Japanese whisky last year, and I can’t believe what I had been missing out on. The Hibiki 17 was introduced in 1989, and made recently available in the US – unfortunately at a significantly higher price point than in Japan. The Hibiki 17 is a blend of single malts from Suntory’s two distilleries, Yamazaki and Hakushu, and grain whisky from their Chita distillery. The bottles that Hibiki comes in are gorgeous; 24 facets to represent the 24 season of the Japanese lunar calendar.
Mashbill: Blended – Malt whisky from Hakushu and Yamazaki distilleries; grain whisky from the Chita distillery
Cask Type: Unknown
Age: 17 Years
Chill Filtered: No
Color Added: No
Glass for Review: Glencairn
Nose: Honey, toffee, walnuts, macadamia oatmeal with a dribble of caramel. A soft and well balanced nose that’s delightfully pleasing.
Palate: Nutty notes from the nose carry onto the palate with cacao, honey, and chocolate covered almonds. A slight hint of orange zest at the end.
Finish: The finish is wonderful and complex, at first you get more of the chocolate, waxy, and honey notes, that turn into citrus zest, oak, and sherry.
Overall: The Hibiki 17 is exemplifies Japanese whisky. With each sip I feel like I’m sitting back in Shinjuku, Tokyo having a few drams. The rich complexity and delicate sweetness make this one of my new favorites.
Average Price: $200-250 USD ($80USD if you find it in Japan!)