Nose: Quite full. There are notes of honey and wax, resin and oak. There are notes of gentle smoke and cacao, hints of cooked fruit and a nutty note.
Palate: Sweet and rich. There are crisp notes of mixed peels, raisin and custard with a little zest and plenty of oak.
Finish: Long with notes of oak and cocoa and sherried peels.
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I thought the 12 was good but this is something else. Smooth long finish with custard cream and rhubarb on the nose, hints of cherry and plums in there as well. This is an adult version of your favourite childhood cordial. However I'm not sure it's worth that much more than the 12. Certainly smoother but I think I'd prefer two 70cl of the 12 rather than one of these.
2nd April 2015
It's interesting to read how different people describe this whisky so differently. For me, the nose was of full of fruit, in particular dark cherries. Fantastic. The palate is sweet and velvety smooth with more fruit/cherry giving way to a bit of vanilla spiciness & oaken body. More please.
A cracking whisky, much better than many single malts at the same price. Probably my favourite bottle design too, and such a sweet, easy-drinking dram.
30th March 2015
Sweet aromatic wood chips dipped in a simple syrup. Banana leaf, plantain and madagascar vanilla. Lemon peel, toffee cereal with no peat and subtle on the palate. Soft floral notes, smooth, and rich with body. Exceptionally enjoyable and definitely will buy another bottle. Love what Japanese whiskies bring to the table.
11th February 2015
The best blended whisky in the world at this <20 age statement! Way better than Chivas Regal 18 and the likes in my opinion. It's beyond belief how rich this whisky is and yet so mellow at the same time. I'm an Islay malt lifelong devotee, so this Hibiki 17 was definitely a pleasant surprise.
16th January 2015
It just doesn't get much better.Always a fan of the single malts, this is without a doubt worthy, despite the name (Scotch) omission. Splendid.Cheers
2nd January 2015
Like any good whisky, this gets better the more you taste. Wonderful spice on the nose, clean, fresh slightly woody taste, and very long spicy finish. Sublime stuff indeed. I've never been to Japan, but this brings to mind some of the tastes and smells I would expect if I visited...very clever, and very Japanese...wet wood, flowers gardens after rain, and a fragrance that is so sensual. And as a little bonus, it comes in a very stylish bottle indeed. Highly recommended without reservation.
17th December 2014
Have just stacked this up against my favourite Scotch - a Talisker dark storm, which I thought was a bit of an improvement over the original, and this Hibiki just demolishes it. Very mellow and straightfoward. The Talisker was brutal, but then I like them harsh. This was anything but - a real pleasure to sip on, and you can taste the effort they put into it. I've tried a few Japanese scotches, all the way up to the Yamazaki 25, which was a bit treacley, but as it was the dowry for my wife, it served its purpose and went down well. I would still rate this Hibiki 17 well above it. These guys did a great job. Enjoy.
7th April 2014
They serve this in business class on ANA airlines, in a superb little miniature bottle. (There are cheaper ways to get it than buying an air ticket I suppose.)
29th January 2014
Wonderful Ibiki and great website
8th June 2013
I go to Japan every year and buy this. Plus it's a lot cheaper there. Around $70 dollars.
The award goes to........
1st June 2013
Superb quality! Makes a good evening.......great.
Wow! Highly aromatic! Love the nose. Taste is a rush of vanilla that dives into cocoa, sherry wood, and orange. It's finish is brief and dry - just the way I like it - with amaretto and the previous cocoa. Don't add any water, it ruins the aromatic complexity. Definitely one of my favorites!
23rd April 2013
This is my 2nd review of this whiskey, and for good reason.It's initial impact is citrus followed quickly by sweeter honey tones, the after taste lingers long enough to satisfy but short enough not to intrude. The Blend that's achieved puts a certain Blue Label to shame and, quite easily at that.I enjoy a peaty whiskey emensely, of which this isn't but it does deliver on every scale, the price you pay respects the drink you drink, if you're at all unsure, please take the plunge, if you're not happy ill come to yours and drink the remainder for you.
10th March 2013
21st January 2013
I did not expect to like this as much as i have, sipping on some now. The nose is unique to anything I have had before - spice and floral blossom alongside pine and oak with beeswax, one of the most interesting noses that will have you inhaling it for a long time, there are tones of smoke, and leaf alongside notes of rich vanilla and citrus leaf. The taste is as good, an initial intense spice with chili leads into a more beguiling sensation of baked tropical fruits, bananas toffee, slight peaty smokiness which I wasn't expecting, more spice and eventual mellowing over well balanced cream, spice and fruit. I can't believe how good this is, almost as good as some of my favourite Scottish single malts! and better than a lot of the Scottish blends. Unbelievable...
4th January 2013
Clean and fresh
9th November 2012
21st December 2011
A review by Tommy ByrneOverall rating: 7,5/10 - Good and UniqueAs many western whisky enthusiasts, I discovered the Suntory whisky brand a few years ago thanks to Bill Murray’s sells pitch in Sofia Coppola’s Lost in Translations: “For relaxing times, make it Suntory time”. Having first tried the Yamazaki 12 years old Single Malt, I had huge expectations from the brand who made me forget it was not actually drinking a true scotch whisky.Swirling in my very favourite Glencairn glass, the old gold fluid already let you know you are dealing with an almost full body whisky. Starting with some dried bananas and apricots nosing notes, honeydew and pineapple soon appear after the first sip. While the toasted barley and dry fruits blends in with balance to an insinuation of toffee in the palate, I found it a little too sharp for a 17 years old whisky. However, the addition of a drop of water will definitely make up for it. Reaching the finishing line, we know we are dealing with a fine-aged product, it last remarkably in the mouth, reminding you that you are drinking a hundred dollar whisky.I’ve never been a strong fan of scotch-type blended whiskies; they always seem to lack of a true essence and hide their original personality. Why blend this sweet nectar with an obscure array of distilled spirits, when the angels delightfully take their shares in the untainted form? Then again, let’s be clear, the 17 years old version of Suntory Hibiki is a great product made with a thorough process by Japanese master blenders who have perfectly reproduced the style and character of a Speyside whisky to my sense. Being an unconditional devotee to Islay Malts, I think that a stronger hint of peat would really transform this whisky into what some have already branded it: “The best whisky in the world”.
16th August 2011
Exquisite. Enough said.
24th April 2011
23rd April 2011
I'm primarily a single malt drinker, so I wasn't expecting all that much from a blend. What a pleasant surprise! This was one of the nicest blends I've tried, and one I will keep on my shelf to share with my friends. It is very smooth, and finishes neatly. It is light, but surprisingly complex. A slight oak flavor with a little bit of smoke, but not over powering. Definately a keeper.
4th April 2011
This is a very full, rich and lingering whisky. A bit on the sweeter, dried-fruit end. Every time I poured a glass I was impressed by how amenable the Hibiki 17 was — Highly recommended! I did a full review on my blog at http://eronrauch.blogspot.com/2011/02/whisky-review-hibiki-suntory-17-year.html if you want more details!
3rd February 2011
It is a blend of both malt and grain whiskies from Suntory's three distilleries. Hope this helps! - The Chaps at Master of Malt -
8th November 2010
I thought i saw blended whisky is it a blend or a malt blend??
7th November 2010
This is one of the fines drops I have tried, Having tried, Royal Salute, Blue label at nearly 3 times the cost, I have to say the Japs could teach the Scotts a thing or too, how to do it better and cheaper, oh and the bottle. Superb! One of the best Malts you will try for the price.
10th May 2010