Hibiki 17 YO, 43 %
Hibiki is the flagship series of blended whiskies from Suntory, and the series was launched back in 1989. These blends are made up of whisky from all the Japanese Suntory distilleries; Yamazaki (malt), Hakushu (malt) and Chita (grain). A varied mix of casks have been used, including bourbon, sherry, Mizunara and umeshu (Japanese plum liqueur).
You can bu the Hibiki 17 YO in Norway at NOK 1000 (item number 5266701), and in Sweden at SEK 939 (item number 80536).
Nose (23/25): A very rich and complex nose. You can literally get lost here, in a good way – losing all sense of time, as you wander down a myriad paths of aromatic delight. It is quite sweet, but not heavy or overwhelming – it reminds me of honey and beeswax. It has apples, plums, apricots, pineapple, even a hint of strawberries. There’s a whiff of smoke, and some chocolate – or is that cocoa… Tending towards floral, but not perfumy.
Taste (21/25): Super smooth and very soft. Sweet and quite full-bodied for being only 43 % ABV. Vanilla, banana, honey, pepper and something slightly acidic.
Finish (21/25): Long and sweet finish. Honey, cinnamon and ginger. The tickling acidity is always there – and I like it.
Balance (22/25): Very well balanced, and a complex dram, like so many other Japanese whiskies.