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Tasting Hibiki 21 yo

16 January 2012 2,838 views Written by: Gal Granov

HIBIKI rogo.aiCurrently I am in the midst of reading a wonderful book by a japanese writer by the name of Haruki Murakami, a well known writer and an excellent one if i might add (won a lot of literary prizes and recognition, so this is not a real surprise to most of you i know)  the book 1Q84 (which i highly recommend to all) deals with the lives of a few characters in Tokyo, in 1984 and is way too complicated to describe in a short whisky post, but is very recommended, if you can, get your hadns on it and read it. It’s quite spectacular, if a but long.  Anyways, this led me to acknowledge  that A long time has passed since I reviewed a Japanese malt, and it’s really a shame. I am happy to remedy this today with a wonderful dram. Blended Whisky is often thought of as “inferior” to single malts, and I think Japanese distilleries are doing a great service to blended whiskies by producing great expressions blended from wonderful ingredients. In the past I’ve reviewed a younger blond from Nikka (Nikka From the Barrel), and I’ve tasted the Hibiki 17 and 12, but this one is really superb.

Hibiki 21 uses rare, selected malt whiskies at least 21 years old. The key malt is from Yamazaki sherry casks, blended with mellow grain malts, to produce a very complex, wonderfully aromatic whisky.My good friend Josh of the JSMWS (who also reviewed this one)  was raving on how good this one is, and after a few difficulties (loosing a sample in mail), I was very happy to be able to try a sample.hibiki21

Suntory Hibiki 21 Year Old , 43% ABV , £90

Nose: Wait! Is this a whisky or a perfume? I could wear this instead of cologne. it’s that good a nose! rich and luxurious with vanilla licorice oranges oak spices . Some wood varnish with  sweet , almost bourbon like in character but much more perfumed. A real treat of a nose. I just love it.
Palate: starting off with a malty note, sweet dough , spices , cinnamon some dried fruits mainly plum and date.Vanilla shines though but quite a lovely sherry touch to it as well.

Finish : Vanilla and malty dough, fairly long.

In one word: Exquisite. Fragrant, seductive and so drinkable. it’s dangerous. A great whisky. and a great example that blended whisky can be awesome.

Score: 91/100

many thanks to Josh of the JSMWS for the sample

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  • http://www.distantthunderwhiskyclub.blogspot.com/ Matt

    I have yet to try the 21yo but I have to say if the 12yo and the exceptional 17yo is anything to go by I am hooked already.

    My personal opinion is that the Hibiki family from Suntory is at the top of the world game for blended whiskies. They really know their stuff.

    • http://www.whiskyisrael.co.il Gal(WhiskyIsrael)

      Indeed Matt. I’ve tried the 12 17 and now this. all A level drams.
      a real joy.
      Thank you!

  • http://www.jewishsinglemaltwhiskysociety.com/ Joshua (Yossi)

    I have exactly one dram left of this deliciousness.  I’m saving it for a very special occasion.   Great review, Gal!

    • http://www.whiskyisrael.co.il Gal(WhiskyIsrael)

      A reason to buy another bottle then my friend.Thank you X 2 ;)

  • Kiu3552927

    I’ve taste hibiki 21 last week and it was amazing.

    can I ask where to buy?