Tuesday, December 20, 2011

One Dram At A Time - Hibiki 12yo Blended Whisky

Master Of Malt 3cl sample bottle – Suntory Hibiki 12yo Blended Whisky
With Dramcember now in full swing it is time to get up my first post with a pre-planned tasting. Recently I placed my first order through Master Of Malt, so what a perfect opportunity to explore the world of Drinks By The Dram,  taste a few whiskies I have never had before, and get the word out there.

This post will contain a limited review of the Suntory Hibiki 12yo Blended Whisky. By limited I mean I literally had a dram to taste and I think just one dram is not enough for a complete review but I will try none the less.

Before I begin it should be know also I have had the Suntory Hibiki 17yo Blended Whisky many times before and absolutely rate it as the crowning bench mark of what a blend should be.

Hibiki 12yo Blended Whisky
Distiller: Suntory
Region: Japan
Alcohol: 43%
Other: 50ml sample from Master Of Malt

The colour is best described as straw amber. There is clear sediment floating throughout the contents which may be influence from the re-botteling process by Master of Malt, or pre-existing from Suntory. Either way a bit of a put off and disappointing to see.

The nose is super rich. An explosion of sweet floral scents and fruit punch sugars everywhere that totally fill the senses. It reminds me a lot of a Glenlivet 12yo but much lighter. Something really magical is happening here.

To taste it starts to fall apart quickly. Though buttery floral honeys greets the tip of the tongue at first it soon develops heat on the and upper back of the throat while a heavy metallic tint envelopes the entire front of the pallet... then my lips begin to tingle. I almost reel in reflex against the contradiction with the nose. It is true to say moorish on the pallet but the metallic is too extreme.

Finish is medium to long with a deep heat setting into the chest almost immediately and then the fire returning to the upper throat. The tint and tingle of that metallic finish takes some time to go away completely.

While there was great balance in lovely the nose the mouth feel was an overall disappointment. More often than not once you have tasted a whisky the nose becomes quite depleted as the pallet takes over though in this case even after a sip the nose remains. Certainly a great example of where whisky blends an be taken.

Keeping up the Dramcember tradition – The Baron