Whisky Review: Hibiki 響 21 Years Old 花鳥風月 Special Edition

Style: Delicate and Complex

Nose:

Delicate red plums, sweet with a dab of sourness, maple syrup bacon, nicely accompanied by semi-dry vanilla painted cereal notes. Light breeze of green sappy pine, sugar cane then we have round apricots and peaches at the core. Almond flakes fade, brown sugar emerges towards to the end. All the pieces are neatly assembled together… Immensely complex and elegant nose.

Palate:

Red fruits, plums and dark cherries chorusing tenderly while the grain element rises with great composure and orchestrates the movement. Vanilla, hazelnut and macadamia leading to the prevailing fruitiness at the core – stewed apricots and assorted dried fruits. The sticky sweetness is well-balanced by a crème brulee undertone. Waning back palate with lesser white oak lightly powdered by pepper.

Finish:

Soft white oak influence lingering. Followed by egg pudding, green pears and berries compote. Finish with silky raisin chocolate.

Thoughts:

This is a special edition for travel retail but I was told that this whisky is no different to the regular Hibiki 21 bottling. But wow, how good is this! Silky, delicious but also so complex that makes you cannot resist refilling your glass and keep exploring it. Layers of flavours elegantly weaved together. Although I love my whiskies at higher alcohol level/intensity, on the technical side, this is probably the best blended whisky I have come across so far. Sensational whisky.

☆☆ [Highly Recommended]

[43% • 2015 Bottled • Original Bottling • Blended Whisky]

-Esmond