Dram Review: Hibiki 21 Years Old

[43.0%・21 Years Old・Bottled Circa. 2013-2015・Hibiki Bottling・Limited Release]

Nose:

A full but tender sandalwood and incense nose. Coconut and vanilla making a wonderful entry with an underlying plum sweetness. Grain spices appearing, the smoke is delicate with a lingering soft cocoa note. The fragrant note with a hint of pepper come through after some time. Fresh wood chips with faint notes of mint and thyme, a subtle raisin note.

Palate & Finish:

On the palate, plum sweetness with notes of ripe strawberries and a lime zing. A pinch of ground pepper excites the tastebuds. The sticky raisins then surface such that the sweetness makes a comeback. There is a coconut creaminess on the backend.

The grain spices disperse in the finish with traces of light cocoa notes upon an underlying oakiness. A faint hint of orange zing and Japanese ginger note. The soft fructose element lasts rather long, that slight floral vibe is comforting. It’s complex but not overpowering. A flavourful yet tender whisky.

Thoughts:

She’s a shy beauty with plenty on the mind, leaving a lot for one to explore.

☆ [Recommended]

Nicholas

Dram Review: Hakushu Heavily Peated Bottled in 2012

[48.0%・Bottled in 2012・Original Bottling・Limited Release]

Nose:

A delicate sweet smoke on the nose, cucumbers and forest pines. It doesn’t feel like it’s heavily peated, the peat is clean. The freshness of green fruits is truly lovely with just a hint of vanilla and a brush of honey. The woody peat and green papaya notes come out after a while with just a sprinkle of peppery spices. This beauty is rather shy, taking her time to lure you in. Then on the very back end, fragrant sweet pasture, salted caramel and a lime zing. It should really be bottled into a perfume.

Palate & Finish:

A refreshing sweetness of cucumbers, green apples and limes hits the palate first, then the salted caramel fudge comes on to add to the chewiness. The peat then develops subtly to add more substance to this sophisticated gem.

The finishing is as tender as a warm spring night, with the fresh peat and the oak married together in harmony. The light spices behave youthfully and playfully and it’s just plain wonderful.

Thoughts:

A.K.A. “Tender is the Oriental Night”..

☆ [Recommended]

Nicholas