Insider knowledge: Hibiki 12 Year Old whisky is named whisky by virtue of the fact it's from Japan. If distilled in America the spelling would be Hibiki 12 Year Old whiskey, as opposed to whisky.
The nose is very strong on this, and not pleasant to what i am accustom to enjoying on the nose with my scotches normally.I bought this because i had seen some good reviews and if nothing else it has a beautiful bottle.
After cracking open the bottle throwing a few cubes of ice in my glass and pouring into the glass i enjoyed 3 completely different tastes from this whiskey. Initially very pronounced flavors with an incredibly smooth finish. After a the whiskey started to cool off in the ice the warm smooth finish was toned down and replaced with a much more subtle flavor with very little bite, however that incredibly smooth finish was now not the forefront of this whiskey. As the ice began to melt a bit it changed the flavor again, making every ounce of the flavor of the whiskey really pop out for me. I enjoyed it overall, however the unpleasant nose on this whiskey is one that will cause me to stay away from hibiki for future purchases. I will stick to my highland scotches
17th February 2014
By far the smoothest blended whisky....
24th January 2014
just like to echo Steve McGiff's notes, I couldn't stop smelling this whisky and I knew I recognised the smell, rum & raisin ice cream, 2 bottles in and I decided to try the 17 year old which I found even nicer. Both great.
6th January 2014
ok noting wrong with the bottle MOM plz remove my last review spent a bit more time with this whisky just not for me.Something different a change worth a try.
20th December 2013
just receive a bottle of this today and 3 others only get to open 2 so my benromach 10 just wonderfull i open this hibiki and not to impressed the bottom of the cork is a differnt colour to the rest of the cork darker maybe that is it or its not to my taste any help lads
13th December 2013
After 12 rounds and many a sore head.... and many light weight encounters as well.... its went to points...... Yamazaki 95% Hibiki 95% .... nothing can separate these two 12 year olds... not even price.... maybe the Hibiki shades it on the bottle! (I use it to collect £1 coins in to funds my whiskey purchasing adventures) But you cant have a bottle style help...... If so Id never have bought the All Malt.... which is a frontrunner at £10 less.... Jason Breen
1st November 2013
I'm a USAmerican, and (admittedly) a "snob" when it comes to malt-based liquor; I won't drink whiskey unless it's from the island of Ireland, and -- until now -- I wouldn't drink Scotch whisky unless it was from Scotland. (The bourbon-type liquors sold under those monikers by North American producers is, in my experience and to my palate, too inferior to deserve the name.) But when my spouse and I went to dinner at one of our favorite restaurants recently, the server mentioned they had recently added "a Japanese scotch" to their offerings, and we were too intrigued not to inquire further. The bartender brought over the lovely decanter, I asked to smell the cork... and it was love at first whiff! We enjoyed a dram of it together (neither of us are remotely heavy drinkers) and found it to make an excellent "sipping whiskey" with its profound complexity and warm sweetness. That it could have done with a touch less "fire" is my only criticism; though it's entirely possible my palate had simply grown unaccustomed to "neat" liquor again, as I mainly imbibe scotch and whiskey in the colder months, when I drink it at all. Though my preference is always for unadulterated scotch and whiskey, I did try the Hibiki 12 Year Old with water after a while, and the completely different array of complexly-layered flavors and aroma made me fall in love all over again! I can't recommend this blend highly enough -- for those who enjoy fine scotch and/or whiskey in the first place -- and will definitely consider acquiring a bottle of my own... even though, at the rate I drink, it would likely last a lifetime.
11th September 2013
Beautiful decanter for a bottle and the juice inside is worthy of such a sexy bottle. Oranges, Marmalade and Plums, Nutty honey & sponge cake!
22nd August 2013
Smell and taste: ume plum wine (umeshu), pineapple and honey, very sweet.
If you don't like whiskey maybe you like this.
30th May 2013
Sophisticated and exotic, Hibiki exudes the most wonderful collection of aromas and tastes. As a student, this one is very special and it will be a while before I can work my up through the range but if this is anything to go by, it will be worth the wait! Nose: Spring blossom and green freshness. Notes of plum and exotic spices (lotus, ginger?). Hint of raspberry, honey and sweet maltiness. Palate: Strong but subtle, extremely fragrant and sweet, balanced by spicy ginger and oak notes. Lively and velvet smooth with defined vanilla and honey notes. Cereal sweetness is held in check by more robust oak and rich exotic fruitiness, particularly raspberry and plum. Finish: Very long, sweet with an enduring spiciness - you are left in no doubt that you have had something very special.
18th April 2013
Firstly the bottle i thought was very impressive.
But what got me most was the nose, seriously i couldn't stop smelling it.
The taste was very busy, but in a remarkable manner.
Layer's of taste's
Going back to the nose, i got bag's of rum and raison ice cream
The vanilla was abundant.
Smooth clean taste, distinctive to the japanese.
I just loved it, smiled with every sniff and taste.......
21st March 2013
I have a bottle of this, awaiting my arrival home
cannot wait to taste it
I am getting a very big respect for japanese whiskey
Yamazaki, 10yr, 12 yr,18 yr, are remarkable
I could not stop smelling the dram
Very moorish indeed.......Steve mcGiff, cornwall.........
12th February 2013
Now this is a whiskey, where every single drop counts. Very very smooth, sweet and fruity. The finish is just going and going and going...:D Japanese are obviously the masters and perfectionists in everything they touch. Go get your own bottle, this one is mine :D.
4th October 2012
This is an absolute peach of a dram. It is distinctly Japanese and has something really special about it. I'd thoroughly recommend it; a good one for blind tastings.
20th May 2011
I've tasted a few Japanese drams so far and none were disappointing! This one was the best by far.
This Hibiki 12 Year Old is a so-called premium blend, because it contains (besides grain whisky as packer) no less than 30 different single malts that are at least 12 years of age, topped off with a 30-year old! The dram has matured on Japanese oak first and finished in so-called Umeshu cask, previously used for the maturing of Japan's famous plum brandy.
The whole went through a process of charcoal filtering - through bamboo wood no less - that gives the whole it's mellow, soft taste.
It was launched in 2009 to celebrate the 20th anniversary of Suntory Hibiki distillery.
The influence of the Umeshu cask is clearly detectable on the nose. Apart from plum, raspberry and pineapple, one also gets hit by very sweet honey and a truckload of vanilla.
On the palate, a duel is going on between the oak and the barley. What a body. Very good indeed.
The finish is nicely spiced and long. The sweet oak prevents the dram from burning down your throat.Mmmm very moreish.
The word 'Hibiki' has several meanings in Japanese, one of them being 'harmonious'. That's a good way to describe this premium blend. Available at other retailers for around £45.
21st December 2010