We are back in Japan, to witness the grace, elaboration and refinement of a tea ceremony translated into the art of whisky blending. The aroma of Hibiki 17 is elegant, complex and floral with exotic spices, green plums and notes of old wood and leather. Distant charcoal, honeycomb and hints of tobacco round off the nose. Bold, intense oak flavors dominate the taste, taking turns with plum sourness, sweet nectarines and fresh mint. Although a little weak in its savory-dry 'matcha green tea finish', it still is a skillfully blended, adorable Japanese dram.
Never before have I had such an intense floral scent in my glass, my nose is the absolute top hammer! Unfortunately, taste and finish can not keep up the stakes. Overall, however, remains a great whiskey, but unfortunately now - due to the discontinuation of bottling and the general trend among the Japanese - has become disproportionately expensive.
A very nice japanese blend, with very interesting notes of peach blossoms and acacia honey, and an exceptional balance. If it wasn't for the short finish and delicate body, this would score 2-3 points higher.
The Foz spots Hibiki 17yo for £16.50, which is a fine price in today’s climate. I bite, and start with this modest-strength blend.
N: A nose with finesse and a lightness, though – even at 43% – it’s never light. Some of the character I noted down focused around the minerality, putty and < watercress. T: The mouthfeel is certainly not Scottish. With a sour putty direction, there’s a kind of dryness that is olive & wine-tannic moving towards a very considered sherry influence. F: A soft hum.
C: I’ve never been blown away with Hibiki 17, but this evening, it was shining brightly.