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A Review of Hibiki – A Japanese Blended Whisky

Posted by on May 14, 2011

The Japanese sure do make some fine whisky.  Today, let’s try Hibiki – 12 year old.

I bought a bottle of this about a year ago while at Binny’s in Chicago.  At the time, not a whole lot of places were selling Japanese whisky, with the exception of Yamazaki.  Although I have only had two Japanese whiskies, I like their products.  Japanese whiskies are a great introduction into the malt world, especially if you are a bourbon drinker.  They have a very fruity and floral flavor. ..a sweetness similar to, but less than, bourbon.

I learned that The Wine and Cheese Place in St. Louis is now stocking this, and I am glad, as I don’t have to travel to Chicago to buy a bottle.  W & C has it priced at $51.99 whereas Binny’s has it for $64.99.  Another whisky available from another country is always a good thing.

The nose it very very floral and fruity.  Hints of tropical fruits, pineapples and mango’s, and flowers.  Springtime?  The palate is very pleasing.  This is a light whisky who’s taste hints of the same fruits, plus plums, and a little bit of grassy notes.  There are nice warm vanilla notes as well.  I am told that some of the whisky is aged in barrels that previously held plum liquor, which you can taste, as well as some older malt whisky aged in sherry cask.   The finish is smooth and quite pleasing, probably due to the 43% alcohol bottling.

I really like this and would have no problems drinking this often.  For someone wanting to get into the malt world, a great introduction.  For regular malt drinkers, a great product, similar to a Scottish Lowland.   Japanese whiskies should not be passed up while looking for a good dram.

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