Suntory 12 Year Old "Hakushu" Japanese Peated Single Malt Whisky (750ml) (Previously $90) SKU #1080132

$68.99

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Professional Reviews

K&L Notes

The newest Japanese whisky to hit the U.S. market is Suntory's Hakushu--known as the "Forest Distillery." Built in 1973 as a sister distillery to Suntory's Yamazaki distillery (previously the only Japanese single malt available in the U.S.), the facility is located at a high-elevation site next to the "pristine waters" of the Ojira River, which are used to dilute the whisky itself. Hakushu distillery uses different styles of oak barrel to age their single malt, but mainly Hogshead, which, according to the distillery, is "suitable to the clear air and cool humid climate." The 12-year old from Hakushu is lightly peated and very delicate in its flavor profile. The light and fruity style of the whisky is quite similar to the Yamazaki 12, but the smoke really makes up for the lack of richness. Because most of Japan drinks their younger malts with ice and water, the Hakushu is definitely another whisky designed for that purpose, which may turn off some of the single-malt sippers stateside. However, even straight at room temperature, the Hakushu really delivers quality flavors for the price point. Think Talisker, but distinctly less round or supple. So far I've really enjoyed tinkering with it in different forms--as a Highball, with an ice cube and just plain neat. This is one of the most enjoyable bottles I've purchased in some time. (David Driscoll, K&L Spirits Buyer)

Staff Reviews

  • David Driscoll
    By: David Driscoll
    5/8/2017
    K&L Staff Member
    Personally, I’ve always been surprised how much more popular the Yamazaki 12 is compared to its sibling the Hakushu 12. To me, the Yamazaki has always been a fine whiskey, but the more dynamic malt is easily the Hakushu, which as pretty much the same delicate and light-drinking flavor profile as the Yamazaki, but with just the faintest touch of smoke. It's so ethereal straight out of the glass, but I feel like it tastes even better with ice (I know that's tough for some people to handle). The subtle peat is like a ghost that moves slowly around every part of my palate, brushing it with hints of earth and phenolic goodness after coating it with sweet grains. With our new pricing, this is a can't miss deal. It's nice to have some real quantity again!

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