Hibiki whisky is a premium blended whisky that comes from the Japanese Suntory company. It is a premium category whisky. In fact, it has won multiple awards.
The name “Hibiki” means echo, or resonance, in Japanese.
Today, you can purchase Hibiki in a few versions, including the 12, 17, 21 and 30-year-old versions as well as the Hibiki Japanese Harmony blend.
The most popular and easiest to find are the 12 and 17-year versions. Hibiki whisky takes on the soul of Japanese craftsmanship and creates harmonious blends and flavor notes that are extraordinary.
It is the most awarded blended whisky from Japan, and it is also one of the more prestigious in the world.
A Quick Review of the Hibiki 12 from Bevmo and Other Retailers
You can purchase Hibiki from multiple retailers, including Costco, Bevmo, and local liquor stores. Some companies allow you to buy online and have it delivered, but you must live in a state that allows imports of alcoholic beverages.
Many of the Hibiki 12’s reviews are impressive. It has been labeled as a “stunning” blend for its flavor and the artistry behind it.
In fact, the Beverage Testing Institute gave it a score of 93.
The 12-year has a blossoming flavor that is dazzling, but well-rounded. It features a bright amber color, and when you nose the glass, you’ll notice hints of plum, raspberry, honey, pineapple, and hibiscus flowers. On the palate, you’ll taste banana, custard, pink peppercorns, and pomegranate.
The finish is sweet, sour, and surprisingly complex.
The 12-year has won multiple awards, including the ISC Gold in 2010, 2013, and 2015. It also received the SWSC Double Gold for 2012 and 2014, along with the IWSC Gold Best in Class award for 2010.
The 12-year could be sipped on its own or blended with drops of water or soda water for a unique highball. Most Japanese whisky is served in mixed cocktails to counterbalance some of the tartness and enhance the unique flavors that come from this line of whisky.
A Quick Review of the Hibiki 17-Year Whisky
Hibiki 17 from Costco and other online suppliers has excellent consumer reviews. When looking for the Hibiki 17 at Bevmo, you will find that it is often out of stock because it is so popular.
Like the 12-year, the Hibiki 17-year has received recognition, including the ISC Gold in 2009, 2012, 2013, and 2016. It also won the SWSC Gold in 2005 and the IWSC Gold Best in Class for 2007.
There are distinct flavor differences between the 17-year and the 12-year. For starters, the 17-year is much more sophisticated and elegant. It reveals flavors slowly, which is why it is the perfect sipping whisky to explore with every taste bud on your tongue.
The color is a rich amber, just like the 12-year, but the nose flavors differ. When you nose your glass, you’ll notice scents of peach, apricot, melon, rose, lily, and tart lemon leaf. On your palate, soak up rich, elegant flavors like vanilla, black cherry, toffee, and Japanese Oak —known as Mizunara.
The finish of this whisky is subtly sweet, fruity, and gives an aftertaste of fresh lychee.
For those craving a cocktail, the Iceball is the designated mixer for the 17-year. The ice ball is an art. In Japan, a ball is formed from a block of specialty ice by hand. After that, a small glass is used, and the ice ball takes up almost the entire portion of the glass. A small amount of 17-year is added to the glass, then the ice ball is mixed around several times until it slightly melts and adds water to the whisky.