Top-Flight Tasting: At the Forefront of Japanese Whisky

Flavorful Expressions from the East

    Japanese whisky has burst onto the scene in the last few years. Though it may seem like a new sensation, the Japanese actually have a long history with whisky making, starting with the establishment of the Yamazaki Distillery in 1924. Though for most of the 20th century they exclusively made blends, that all changed in 1984 with the launch of Suntory Single Malt Whisky Yamazaki 12 Year Old and then Yamazaki 18 Year Old in 1992.

      Today, the single malts coming out of Yamazaki (as well as Hakushu Distillery) are as well-regarded and coveted as any from Scotland: soft and fruity, with hints of Mizunara oak and smoke, and tons of complexity. Suntory’s Toki and Hibiki Japanese Harmony blends—using grain whiskies from the Chita Distillery—continue to break new ground with a harmony of flavors that are perfect for a tasting, sipping neat, or in the country’s beloved Highballs.

Suntory Japanese Whisky Toki® 
The clear gold whisky is silky and fruity, with subtle notes of peppermint, green apple, white pepper, and ginger. Can be enjoyed in many different ways, but best matches with Highballs.

Hibiki Japanese Harmony®
This harmonious blend of numerous malt and grain whiskies is delicate and luminous, with notes of lychee, rosemary, honey, and candied orange peel, among others.

Yamazaki® 12 Year Old
The pioneer of Japanese single malt, there’s an aroma of soft fruit, peaches, pineapples, and grapefruit. The palate offers coconut, cranberry, and butter, with hints of Mizunara (Japanese oak) throughout.

Hakushu® 12 Year Old
A revelation among Japanese single malts, this champagne gold whisky is floral and herbal on the nose, with hints of basil and pine needle. The palate shows sweet pear and mint, leading into a slightly smoky finish.

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