A stunning 12 year-old blend from Hibiki, some of the whisky has been part-matured in plum liqueur casks. Lovely malt from Hakushu and Yamazaki, plus some aged grain from Chita, this terrific Japanese blend picked up the top prize in its category at the World Whisky Awards 2010 IWSC 2012 - Gold Medal - Whisk(e)y Worldwide
Nose: Very fruity, with ripe oranges, apple pie, marmalade and plums (would I have still got those plums if I didn't know about the plum liqueur maturation? I'd like to hope so). Fresh honeysuckle and nougat aromas, sugared almonds, sponge cake, icing sugar. Expressive and exciting.
Palate: Smooth as a snooker ball, with delicious fresh grain, oak tannins and delicately sherried malt. Some clove, pepper and mixed peel as the sherry comes forward. The citrus is here as well, if slightly more tart like lemon or grapefruit.
Finish: Spices, apple peel and the last remnants of the finely-tuned grain. Nothing dominates, everything in place - the integration and balance are quite remarkable. The spices seem to build in intensity at the finale.
Comments: Slips down easier than a greased eel in an oilslick. This is tremendous. A hugely impressive feat of blending that proves, if there were any remaining doubt, that Japanese whisky can equal or beat anything produced in Scotland at this moment in time. Bravo.
Customer Reviews: (21 reviews)
Could anyone advise how this compares to the hibiki 17, I have had several bottles of the 17 and im intrigued to see how the 12 compares.
- anonymous, 21st January
@Liz: There's no added sugar after distillation - it's against the whisky making regulations.
- TWE Admin, 7th Nov '12
Liquid love in a bottle, perfect way to put it! Can anyone tell me the sugar content?
- Liz , 7th Nov '12
For relaxing times, make it suntory time.
- Bob, 16th Sep '12
Oh my, now this is flavor and smoothness rolled together into one package. Damn you Japanese, why do you have to excel at everything you do and improve everything you make?
Liquid love in a bottle.
- GL, 17th Jun '12
Beware of the Japanese - It's better than many Scotch singles. Just add a tiny drop of water and its close to perfect.
- Henrik (Japanese fan), 7th Jan '12
One of the best 12 yo Whiskies I have bought..absolutely unique..would advise just a drop of water... brings out the fresh limes, tobacco, rich cherries, cardamon and spices... smooth and sweet...
- Matt Glazier, London, 21st Dec '11
Try it, and your hooked! Great blend!
- anonymous, 8th Dec '11
One of the best blends ever for me along with Nikka from the Barrel. Smooth and fresh, fruity (mango, melon) and with touch of honey. Nice, sweety aftertaste.
- Povilas, 23rd Nov '11
Beautiful. Just beautiful
- Pav, 26th Jul '11
Hibiki is one of the best whiskies in the world, and I try a lot of whisky brands..
- anonymous, 4th May '11
Agree with Matt (14 April) - One of the best I have tasted bar none. Ignored in Japan curiously enough.
- Neil, 16th Apr '11
Wonderful, smooth drinkable stuff. It just glides down and is my go to bottle when I fancy something mellow. The easiest drinking blend I have tasted.
- J.D, 16th Aug '10
This is one of the best whiskies in the world. As good as any single malt scotch in the world and I have tried many. Don't underestimate this because it is a blend from Japan. One of the few whiskies that when I opened I could not put it down. If you don't try this, you will never know what you are missing. A game changer for sure.
- Matt, 14th Apr '10
This truly is a superb whisky - clean, superbly balanced with an incredible fruity taste and touch of spice. A world class blend which should be tried by all!
- trebor - kent, 22nd Mar '10
Thank You Ho Cheng! It is great, isn't it :). Without a doubt, one of my favourite whiskies of the year.
- Tim F, 7th Dec '09
Hello Tim, Got information from Suntory, this bottle does have quite some plum liqueur cask finish Yamazaki. You are good! I've just taste it, very similar note as yours, I like it a lot! 86 points.
- Ho-cheng Yao (Aka Kingfisher), 5th Dec '09
Better than the 17yr old in my opinion, stronger flavour and longer finish plus 20 quid cheaper. Works best with a half a tsp of water.
- Martin A., 30th Nov '09
An utterly terrific Whiskey. Smooth as the smoothest smooth thing in the smoothest smooth part of Smooth Town.If you have friends who don't like the taste of whiskey, then this one should turn them.And the taste belies the price! It's gorgeous!If you haven't tried it, take a punt. You won't regret it!
- Richard Bolens, 24th Sep '09
The finish is so smooth it's actually a shock - you can't believe Japanese blended whisky can be this good. But it is. The most interesting dram I've had all year.