This old HIBIKI without age statement is truly a classic in Japanese whisky history. Producer Suntory decided to bring this very first bottling without age statement written on the label and box. But this does not mean, the used whiskys are young. Is has been reported by a lot of sources, that Suntory carefully picked just the very best casks they could find in the 1980ies for their new HIBIKI range. The age of the cask they used were between 15 and 25 years old. The old blenders from Suntory choose their cask by taste, not per age.
These days, it's a bit confusing, but the whole market has changed during the last decades. Everybody seems to be addicted to any age statement, no matter, how good the quality of the cask is. You can have way better whiskys with a 10 year matured first fill or virgin cask compared to a whisky, that has matured 20 years in a cask, the was used three or four time before. Just keep in mind.
Back to HIBIKI: Suntory planned to roll out this new named Blended Whisky all over Japan for one reason: to show, that a perfectly crafted and blended whisky can reach a new level of quality. So you better forget all you know about this cheap fast money blended whisky you know.This is quality blended whisky perfection. When this bottle hit the market in Japan, it was a complete sensation. First Japanese, later the whole world fell in love with this unique (and perfectly packed) whisky.
If you want to know the story from the very beginning, you need to search for this bottles. They usually come a beige, ivory or yellow box. On the neck of the bottle you can find a wax seal.
Even this HIBIKI has no age statement, it is one of the rarest bottles from Japan and definitely a must have/drink for whisky lovers.
Over the years, Suntory has changed the HIBIKI many times. With their new range Japanese Harmony, 12Y (discontinued), 17, 21, 30, 35 you can find a very great whisky that suits to your demands. If you want to know, how the big HIBIKI story begun, try to find this bottle. It's liquid Japan whisky history.