While it may seem that our world is suddenly awash in Japanese single malts, the fact is that we’re already in a shortage. Last year, as demand continued to build for its limited stocks, Suntory took the age statement off its Hibiki, suggesting less of the precious older stocks were being used. This year, they’ve introduced Toki, a welcome addition to the portfolio. Whereas Hibiki is a burnished, complex sipper, Suntory’s latest release, Toki, is a light, bright, perky spirit with a surprising punch of flavor—apple, citrus and honey notes backed by a lingering smokiness. It makes an elegant summer whisky served on the rocks, but it also seems destined to usher the return of the whisky highball, which has become the drink of choice in Tokyo these days. It’s very refreshing when made as they do, stirred over rocks in a tall glass, then joined with super-bubbly soda water and a lemon twist. *Year's Best Spirits 2016* (JM)
This is a handy core ingredient for many cocktails, combining single malts from Yamazaki and Hakushu with grain from Chita. Dying embers of burnt heather and aromas of sliced apples browning through careless neglect. A complex interplay between the smoky embers, roasted spices, tiger fruit, coriander, and whole peppercorn precedes a sweet taste of buttered popcorn, orchard fruit, and burnished orange, supported by increasingly provocative pepperiness. Quaffable and versatile. (JM, Fall 2017)
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