This review will look into the Hibiki 17 Year Old which is one I’ve been wanting to try for some time and also add a bottle or two to my collection as Suntory released some interesting bottle designs, one being the hand painted decanted of a pink flamingo and flowers. Hibiki is a blended whisky which is owned from the company ‘Suntory’ which also own the distillery of the famous Yamazaki. The Hibiki blend has a combination of whisky from Suntory’s single malt distillery of Yamazaki & Hakushu along with Chita from the single grain distillery. So the Hibiki 17 Year Old contains whiskies in it of minimum of 17 years and can also have some whiskies which are higher in age. It has become much rarer to find as the current surge in popularity of Japanese whisky has driven up prices and lack of stocks has made it much harder to find.
Nose: The nose starts with dried fruits in sultanas, apricots, peaches and nectarines. Hints of lemon grass develop with a very nice fruitier notes. Vanilla lingers around and a candied ginger reveals itself. After the whisky gets to breath for a bit floral notes of lavender and cherry blossom along with rose water.
Palate: The palate starts out with a medium texture, then makes way for fruitier notes in plums, figs, sundried sultanas, apricots and poached pears, toffee apples with a soft white peppery spice making way to a citrus note of lime zest ending on a vanilla oak.
Finish: On finish has cocoa, dried oaky character, pomegranate and a combination of dried fruits which leave a medium to long finish.
AGE: 17 yrs
CASKS: (Blended Whisky)
DISTILLERY: Yamazaki, Hakushu & Chita
PRICE: £124 (£250-300)
Comments: My opinion on the Hibiki 17 Year Old is a really good Japanese blended whisky, it displays a really nice fruity and floral character with a soft sprinkle of spice and it’s ever so faint. In comparison to its younger sibling the 12 Year Old it’s much silkier with a reduced spice making it easier drinking. In terms of value for money at around £250-300 I personally feel it’s higher than it should be but that’s probably due to the recent popularity in Japanese whisky. Also this whisky doesn’t require any water as its already delicate and adding water would completely dilute the whisky. But giving this whisky time to breathe brings out the nice floral characters. If it was around £120-150 I could see it being more reasonably priced for this delicious dram.