*Best of 2016* The newest blended whisky offering from Hibiki is burnished gold in the glass and has a bold aroma that mixes vanilla, fresh pear and a hint of smoke. The smokiness comes forward at the first sip, wrapping around a core of oak and vanilla custard and finishing long, with a mouthwatering bitter chocolate note. (KN)
Poised and complex, with typically lifted fruitiness: strawberry ice cream, pineapple, peach, balanced by delicate oak, bamboo shoot-like delicacy, then lemon. The palate is more rounded than that very forward nose, with toffee notes adding some weight. A touch of smoke comes along in the mid-palate, before fruits and caramelized coffee biscuits. Water allows the flavors to flood the palate. Exemplary blending skills and classically Hibiki. (DB, Winter 2015)
*Best of 2015* You can’t be a Japanese whisky enthusiast without having noticed that there’s a shortage of the stuff. What once was readily available is now hard to find. What once was affordable now costs various bodily limbs. It is due to more than a fad. The best Japanese whisky is remarkable stuff, and none are better than the top single malts from Suntory, Yamazaki, Hakushu and the blended whisky Hibiki. Hibiki comes in 12-, 17- and 21-year-old expressions, but even the youngest of these is now allocated. Harmony, the newest release, carries no age statement, indicating that it contains younger whiskies than other bottlings. Nevertheless, this is a welcome concession, with Suntory’s classic sense of balance, nuance and delicacy. (JM)
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Lagavulin "2016 Edition" 12 Year Old Natural Cask Strength Islay Single Malt Scotch Whisky (750ml) (Previously $130)
1997 Bowmore 20 Year Old "Old Particular" K&L Exclusive Single Barrel Cask Strength Single Malt Scotch Whisky (750ml)