Where should I start? Hibiki 17 is a whiskey blend that doesn’t taste like a blend. Is it a bad thing? Actually, quite the contrary, it is superb.
It is the kind of whiskey where you’d be forgiven if you confused it with a single malt. It is something hard to profile.
Hibiki 17 surprises me as well, although it is a blend, it does not contain the usual “graininess” taste that is common to Scottish blends. Note that the year statement is just indicating the minimum year of aging. Suntory sure knows how to age their whiskey well, giving the blend such strong and prominent flavour.
Findings In The Hibiki 17
Nose: Toffee on top, strong nuts, and smoky smell. Slight hint of honey in the back
Taste: Similar to Nose, butterscotch as well. A rather oaky backbone that kind of just sits at the back and supports the tasting. Spicy but not harsh to swallow. Nutty.
Finish: Long-lasting, slight bitterness from the oakiness. The sweetness from butterscotch.
This may sound cliché but I strongly stand by my viewpoint thinking that all Japanese whiskeys are exceptionally smoother than Scotch. Even a blend like Hibiki 17, the spiciness found in it spreads smoothly on your tongue, nothing too ‘sharp’, just enough to stimulate your senses but easy to go down.
This can be a start for beginner drinkers or damn it, just sit down and enjoy a glass of Hibiki 17. Maybe it is harder for people that do not reside in the Asia part of the world as it is quite hard to get your hands on a Hibiki 17 in America.
But if you try hard enough, you might just end up like Bill Murray and enjoy yourselves “A Suntory Time!”.
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