Last Japanese review was… wow, back in October and even more wow was over 100 reviews ago.
These next two in particular I’ve been keen to try, mainly again because of Ian Buxton’s 101 Whiskies. But then, my version was written before the current Japanese whisky craze.
That means these two are hard to find. And when you do, they’re gonna be hella expensive. Someone I managed to charm/nuisance (probably more nuisance than charm) myself into tasters of these at Inter. Whisky Frankfurt.
Hakushu 18 43%
Nose: Interesting leafy and earthy, floral, green apple, very slight smoke, tobacco leaf, softly herbal, rosemary, vanilla, far away gun smoke.
Taste: Light and easy, very soft, vanilla, leaves, some tobacco and earth then green apple, some soot, a little oily, nice sour lime zest.
Finish: Long length. Darker, chocolate and tobacco, earth, a little lime zest.
A lovely continuation of what I remember the 12 to be. Very interesting style you don’t really get anywhere else. Much less disappointing than the Yama 18 but I wouldn't pay todays crazy prices!
Hibiki 17 43%
Nose: Soft and VERY Japanese. No flaws. Light but quite complex with floral oak, flower petals, rose, beeswax, noticeable grain, delicate, just dried donut (which is quite delicious).
Taste: Soft and sweet, beeswax and honey, floral, dry oak, small berries, plum, more malt forward than the nose, malt, slightly leafy and earthy, Hakushu-esque.
Finish: Medium length. Very soft and very nice. Candle wax, lemon peel, earthy malt and some light chocolate and coffee.
A nice one, interesting to try the Hakushu 18 before since they’ll be Hakushu in here and it definitely comes out in the development. I actually had a bottle of this at one point but I sold it at auction (I know, BOOOOOOOO etc), using the money to buy a SMWS Springbank. Pretty happy with that trade off now I’ve tried it.
Thanks for reading!
Japanese Reviews #17-#18
Whisky Network Reviews #659-#660
Network Average: 74.7
Best Score: 93
Worst Score: 22
60-64 Just About OK
65-69 Ok to Good
75-79 Very Good
Full Disclosure Disclaimer: I currently work as a Brand Ambassador for Penderyn Distillery. The views expressed here are purely my own and do not reflect the views of Penderyn Distillery or The Welsh Whisky Company. I try to maintain as much objectivity as I can but feel free to take my reviews with as big a pinch of salt as you like. Furthermore, my rating scale is NOT based on a Parker type wine scoring scale or a school/college/university % or A-F grade score. You can find more on my scoring here. I apologise for any seemly low or 'bad' scores given with my system and am sorry I can't say only nice things. Please keep in mind that I am ethically compromised and am unable to produce 100% unbiased reviews.