Tasting Tuesday: Hibiki 12 Year Old Whisky


Suntory’s Hibiki 12 Year Old Whiskey is one of the easier to find Japanese whiskies currently available in my neck of the woods. That isn’t to say that it is easy to find because stores often sell out as fast as they get it in, and Japanese whiskey fans find themselves marking delivery dates on their calendars to ensure that they score a bottle when they can. It’s a blended whiskey that is partially matured in casks that previously held Japanese plum liqueur, which gives the whiskey some very unique character.

The 12 year old Hibiki is not sweet like a liqueur would be sweet, but it does have a distinct sweetness to it when you compare it to other whiskies. It has a much more complex flavor profile with hints of dried fruit, honey and plum. These elements, coupled with the exceptionally smooth finish of this whiskey, are what give the Hibiki 12 Year the impression of sweetness. That smooth finish is its hallmark, and even inexperienced whiskey drinkers will know immediately that this is a high quality spirit.

Worth another round? Definitely. I am a huge fan of Japanese whiskies and this is a great one. It’s also slightly easier to find than some other Japanese whiskies, which is another reason to keep an eye out for it. Straight, on the rocks, in cocktails (which I’ve had at some very high-end restaurants), it is outstanding any way you serve it.

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