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The Hakushu Single Malt Whisky - Distiller’s Reserve

(70cl, 43%)

The Hakushu Single Malt Whisky - Distiller’s Reserve
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Hakushu Reserve Bottling Note

From the Hakushu distillery in the foothills of Mount Kaikomagatake comes their Distiller's Reserve single malt whisky, a no-age-statement expression, that captures the smoky, herbaceous characteristics of their whiskies. Both lightly-peated and heavily-peated malts were used for this complex and deeply enjoyable whisky. One of two Spring 2014 release from Suntory.

Tasting Note by The Chaps at Master of Malt

Nose: The herbs are very up front with this one. Peppermint, pine and pleasant grassy notes. Cucumber and melon round out the nose.

Palate: All the notes on the nose swim effortlessly through the palate, the mint developing sweeter notes as it goes on. Citrus zest also pops in to say hello.

Finish: A waft of smoke appears during the long finish.

Overall: This shall make a fantastic Highball. Oh yes it shall.

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Hakushu Single Malt Whisky - Distiller’s Reserve Reviews

Highly recommend

Green apple flavor is so wonderful

21st October 2020

Good option - not too conplex gd

Think I’m turning Japanese. Love this whisky. Closer to a scottish highland - no peat or smoke - but dispute its age tastes sophisticated enough to take to our whisky club as a wild card. Will buy again. Toffee and childhood banana sweet flavour.

6th May 2020

Delicately Smoky Banana Goodness

Got a bottle for under 50USD in Osaka. I really love the delicate flavors in this one, with just enough complexity on par with the Sepeysides I've had. Really good dram for an evening night cap, after a meal or for afternoon conversations with friends.

Nose - opens with a strong fresh banana, vanilla-caramel sweetness, pine, very light smoke, almonds
Palate - Opens with mild sandalwood and pine, then spicy pepper attacks the mouth which slowly fades into sweet banana, fresh berries and yuzu rind, greenery and smoke.
Finish - Pleasant fruit and mild greens with mild smoke and 70% dark chocolate

Very smooth and easy drink!

2nd February 2020

I like this one

My first dabble into Japanese whisky, and definitely one I enjoyed.

Quite smooth, nothing too aggressive but with just enough bite. Lovely.

7th September 2019

100% best bottle for experience with single malts from japan.

This is my first experience with japanese whiskey, always thought about scotch and used to drink a bottle at once with one or two friends. The most bright experience was with Nadura 48% 1L for 3 person. But the price for Hakushu impressed me in local store with 41£. bottle 0.7l.
At the middle of the bottle with my friend it became clear that its more smooth sense than Nadura, but sharpness of perception never much the less. Palate as mentioned fruity: melon with peppermint. Never tried yuzu can’t say anything about it.

30th July 2019

Fantastic.....smooth and delightful....

Just having my very first bottle of this. From someone who goes to Japan often I am hard to impress....Lived there even for a few years....But I got stuck into beer and sake....and never bothered seriously with the whiskey - even though I heard it was very good.....Well, my son - who also is working there now just came down and gave me a bottle of this....And I am so impressed. Smooth as, with - to me - more of a melon taste to it - and a very light yuzu....I have a big backyard yuzu I know it well....I am loving this Suntory product....My favourite whiskey by far suddenly.....

I am a little dismayed by the critical reviews of this fine brew.....I am not even sure they are drinking what I just had.....The best in my limited experience.....

18th June 2019


I was eager to sample this whisky, after seeing so many good reviews. Unfortunately this is not what I expected. It´s very green, with some fruity notes and little sweetness. More than date I expecting a smooth drink. Not the case. You feel the burn. The finish is harsh. This is not easy. Disappointment.

4th February 2019

muy suave creo yo y muy áspero su valor

mmmmmmmmm que difícil esta esto che , cuesta mucho probarlo y despejar dudas

30th January 2019


My favourite whisky. (I even visited the distillery!) The 12 year is even better but with the shortage of aged Japanese whisky the prices are exorbitant... but i think this is well worth it.

24th September 2018

First foray into Japanese malts. Won't be my last

Anyone saying this burns either has had chronic heartburn or should leave whisky alone. Its the smoothest whisky I've had. Slips down like ambrosia. Not getting cucumber or lemons, but a delightful toffee aroma. Definitely a repeat buy. Love it

9th August 2018

Citrus with a hint of smoke

Not getting the grassy cucumber minty vibe but I do get lemon & lime with a slight smoky finish. Reminds me of Arran 14 but very good nevertheless

29th July 2018

Burn Baby Burn

Got a small bottle from the Family Mart to drink at the ryokan. Anyone saying this is smooth either had a different batch, is lying, or has never had smooth whiskey. Hidden behind the sharp alcohol burn is a good lightly smokey flavor, but DAMN, this stuff is not easy.

8th April 2018

Excellent and smooth

Exceptionally smooth, inoffensive stuff. Really enjoyed it for the price.

7th February 2018

Bad stuff

With 5 drinking persons we could not even finish the bottle. Not smooth , only thing you can feel is ethyl alcohol . For that high price - awful . No better than cheapest Johnny Walker...

4th January 2018

Bang on

Master of Malt's tasting notes are bang on about this one.
Call me crazy but for me it is similar to Bushmills 10 year old single malt, which is one of my all time favorites.

23rd December 2017

PewDiePie's 8 out 10 very nices.

God of YouTube approves.

1st September 2017

Must try for all Single Malt lovers

A great everyday drink. Simply lovely. A bit pricey now.

30th April 2017

for any single malt fan it is worth buying a bottle

Brilliant single malt whisky. Right up there with the best scotch you can buy if not better.

23rd March 2017

An absolute triumph well worth buying

This is such a beautiful, delicate and satisfying whisky.

I've offered this to many people who think they don't like whisky and they've really enjoyed it.

One of my all time favourites due to it's subtly & distinctiveness. I've got a cupboard full of bottles but my wife can identify this without any help.

28th January 2017


This whisky is up there at the top of my list for value for money and excellent taste so smooth from start to finish

5th January 2017


Harsher start smooth finish

15th October 2016

Ed mac p

A refreshing alternative single malt, a must have for those warm summer evening's. The crisp fruity notes refresh

12th June 2016

Serge Emond

Un des meilleurs scotch que j'ai bu!
Seul problème non disponible au Canada.

2nd June 2016

Grassy, citrussy, tasty

Having tried both the Distiller's Reserve and the Hakushu 12, I would say that your money is better spent on this expression. Further evidence that age statements aren't necessarily the 'best'...
This a really pleasant and enjoyable whisky, and if you tend to prefer mellower flavours (or are averse to peat) then this will be right down your street. It's still got plenty of sophistication and complexity, mind you: just in subtler areas. I'd say that it's perfect for drinking in warmer weather. Lovely stuff.

24th May 2016

Too Good

This whisky was so good I drank two thirds of the bottle in one night (very unlike me), woke up the next morning with a raging hangover and now I can't touch the stuff.
Would definitely recommend to anyone who has never had a Japanese whisky but doesn't have the budget for a Yamazaki or the 12 YO, different to any scotch/irish/other single malt. It's also probably worth splashing out on even if it's slightly outside your usual budget (like it was mine) as I can't think of a single scotch in this price range which beats it.

10th April 2016

It was good

Compared to Yamazaki I would still prefer that though.. you can feel the booze in this bottle a little to much.

17th February 2016

Very nice and gentle flavours

Very palatable

22nd January 2016


Terrible sharpness. I'm not a whisky drinker normally but have recently had some single malts from Scotland. They've been "smooth". This is rough

8th September 2015

All things green.

This great Japanese single malt is full of all things green on both the nose and palate. Green fruits, herbs, mint, melon and cucumber abound. The nose is a delightful green medley of more things than I can easily discern. It's utterly mouthwatering on the tongue and any smoke is very light and not easy to detect. Not cheap by any means but a great entry level Japanese single malt. Highly recommended.

24th July 2015

Look out Scotland!

The chill from the Japanese alps, a shy taste of smoke.

29th April 2015

A 'Smokey Speyside'

This whisky is light, smooth, and mellow, with all the attributes of a Glenmorangie Nectar D'Or (honey/lemon) on the palate, but with a subtle smokey finish. Delightful!

3rd April 2015

A superb drop for the money...

...with some delicate and very unusual fruit flavours that you just don't find in a Scotch malt coming through at the end, possibly as a result of the Mizunara oak. And whilst it's not exactly Ardbeg, if the reviewer below can't detect the peat (or the fruit, for that matter) he needs his tastebuds examined, and if anyone thinks this is too sweet I can only guess that they've never tasted a Speyside or sherried whisky before. I'm guessing restraint and subtlety just aren't his things.

21st February 2015

Sugared almonds

Nearing the end of the bottle (shows how easy it is to drink) but I wont buy again. ZERO green notes, citrus/ cucumber etc, ZERO Peat. What there is in abundance is coconut ice, maple syrup fudge, golden syrup - its just too sugary for me.

Says it all when M.O.M conclude their tasteing notes suggesting it would make a greta highball.

13th February 2015

lapin rouge

Entry level (8 yrs?) malt - so there is an edge to it and very little complexity. Dont believe any of the marketing-speak about 'green herbs' 'yuzu' or 'Cucumber' - but maybe, perhaps there is smoke on the finish if you imagine really hard.

The reality is it's an excellent drinking whiskey, a well deserved glass in the evening. And maybe another glass after that. Thoroughly enjoyable.

28th January 2015

Nice with a capital "N"

Think of a bath of hot water to soak in. Some you lower yourself gently into as you need to get used to it before you enjoy it. You know the style 2/3 tastes maybe more. The you go Haaaaaaaa nice.

This is a single malt that has already been checked tested and you just get in there and soak from the 1st sip to getting out clean and refreshed.

It's Japanese precision. Personally no hidden corners, no shocks, no surprises.

However don't get me wrong it's comfort incarnate. Favourite film,slippers and music score.

25th December 2014

A good alternative Hakushu

A good alternative to the 12 year old, this can be had for as little as €20-25 if you search out alternative off-licences and suburban department stores in Tokyo and its environs. Quite an accomplished whisky for the price and perhaps even a little less ubiquitous than its bigger and more expensive 12 year old brother.

15th December 2014

like bathing in a Japanese spring

Perfectly described, seriously good drop.
Very easy to get stuck into.
The peat delicately arrives after lashings of mint and melon, mmmmm
Steve McGiff....Cornwall..

24th November 2014

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