Review: Hibiki Harmony Blended Japanese Whisky / by Jason Hambrey

ABV
43%
Aging
Finished in Plum Wine Casks
Recipe
Malt and Grain Whiskies
Distiller Yamazaki, Hakushu & Chita (Japan)

One effect of all the Japanese whisky craze has been an increasing influx of no-age-statement whisky, as this Hibiki whisky has been introduced without one. I find, below, that it isn't inferior to the 12 Year Old.


Review (2016)

  • Batch: N/A

  • Bottling Code: N/A

  • Bottling Date: 2016

On the nose, anise seed, with a general dry spicy feel and some pear. It takes some time to open up with some malt and vanilla coming through. The palate has creamy, buttery barley, with a light smoky end. There is also some rich barley, pear, and some very light earthy notes in the background and a reasonable amount of tannin as well. It’s sweet, with vanilla and a light edge of smoke on the finish. Rich barley is still in the mix, with a tinge of spice. Decent body, with a bit of a peaty vegetal character to it as well. A nice strength to this – the creaminess is nicely buffeted by the 48.2% bottling strength which brings in a strong bit of ancillary flavour.

Highly Recommended (48% of all whiskies I’ve reviewed to date get this recommendation or higher).

Value: Average. Really not a bad buy for $100, especially for Japanese whisky.


Review (2019)

  • Batch: N/A

  • Bottling Code: LZ8DSU

  • Bottling Date: 2018

Toasted coconut, oak, plum, cherry – this is a very nicely balanced and interesting nose, which is lightly floral too with terrific wood notes. Loads of dried fruit, too. Terrific stuff! The palate is clean, loaded with rich wood notes and orchard fruit, finishing with more orchard fruit, oak, and vanilla with a gaining tannic influence which
eventually breaks to reveal even more fruit. Just wonderful whisky! Slightly better than the last one I reviewed.

Highly Recommended (48% of all whiskies I’ve reviewed to date get this recommendation or higher).

Value: Average. But, if you are in North America and want to explore Japanese whisky, this is one of the better (and relatively available) Japanese whiskies, given that there isn’t usually a large selection.