Hibiki 12 Year Old 70cl
A stunning 12-year-old 70cl blend from Hibiki, some of the whisky has been part-matured in plum liqueur casks. Along with grain from Chita and malt from Yamazaki, the Hibiki blend uses some whisky matured in plum wine casks in the mix.
The Japanese blend picked up the top prize in its category at the World Whisky Awards 2010.
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.
Smooth as a snooker ball, with delicious fresh grain, oak tannins, and delicately sherried malt. Some clove, pepper, and mixed peel as the sherry come forward. The citrus is here as well if slightly more tart-like lemon or grapefruit.
Spices, apple peel, and the last remnants of the finely-tuned grain. Nothing dominates, everything is in place – the integration and balance are quite remarkable. The spices seem to build in intensity at the finale.
Slips down easier than a greased eel in an oil slick. 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. Hibiki 12-Year-Old 70cl