Suntory Whisky was founded in 1923 by Shinjiro Torii. His goal was to craft a whisky filled with the essence of Japanese nature; hand-crafted by artisans through a patient process of enhancing the work of nature. A subtle, refined, yet complex whisky that would suit the delicate palate of the Japanese and enhance their dining experience.
The Hakushu Distillery was founded half a century after Yamazaki and constructed in 1973. The Hakushu Distillery is one of the highest distilleries in the world (700 meters or more). The exceptionally soft mountain water of Hakushu originates as clear-flowing rainwater and melted snow, which passes through Mt. Kaikomagatake of the Japanese Southern Alps and joins the Ojira and Jingu Rivers at the mountain foot. Suntory Single Malt Whisky Hakushu is the fresh and gently smoky single malt whisky with herbal notes.
The Hakushu 12 is green and herbaceous with the color of Champagne gold. Aromatics of basil, pine needle, and green apple jump out of the glass. The palate has sweet pear, mint, and kiwi with a finish of green tea and subtle smoke.
Hakushu 18 is silky with floral notes. It has a deep gold color with aromas of ripe pear, dried mint, oregano, and a hint of smoke. On the palate you detect jasmine, mango, quince, and menthol. The finish is long and pleasantly smoked, with a hint of bitterness.
Japanese whisky has experienced a renaissance in recent years but as demand has soared, producers have struggled to sustain supplies – particularly age-stated liquid. As a result, Suntory will stop selling its Hibiki 17-Year-Old blend and Hakushu 12-Year-Old single malt in certain markets from 2019, and limit availability of the whiskies over the next few years.
Come and enjoy these now while you still can.
-- Assistant Wine Director Kerry Ichimasa