Hakushu distillery

Region: Japan

Location: Tonhara 2913-1 Hakushu cho

Status: Operational (owned by Suntory)

General whisky characteristics: Toffee and smoked ham





Hakushu, 12y

Typical cost of this bottle;

Reviewed as part of MMA 2011


Glass: Classic Malt

Colour: Light sunny cork

Nose: Initially very leafy, then come some herbal overtones, perhaps dandelion? In fact this now reminds me of a fizzy Dandelion & Burdock drink from my childhood. This is indeed now leafy, slightly herbal and occasionally aromatically floral.

Palate: Very creamy vanilla with various summer fruits in the background. Stewed apple?

Finish: Long

Overall Impression: I was quite impressed with this. I don't usually like those very 'leafy' whiskies but the herbs and fruit made this really very good.



Hakushu, 12y, 43.5% ABV

Typical cost of this bottle;

An earlier tasting of Hakushu 12y


Nose: Fresh cut hay

Palate: Again fresh hay, but with a disappointingly short finish and the flavours were quite weak.

Overall Impression: Quite disappointing.



Hakushu, Heavily Peated

Typical cost of this bottle; (just! 75)

Reviewed as part of MMA 2011


Glass: Classic Malt

Colour: Sunny hay

Nose: Starts slowly with an almost red wine influence which expands with time to include wood and the faintest hint of smoke. Also quite floral after some minutes.

Palate: Rich and creamy mouth-feel with lots of depth, but not overly complex. V
anilla and peach with a light smokiness.

Finish: Long and slightly smoky peat

Overall Impression: A jolly good everyday or anytime whisky.




Hakushu, Heavily Peated, bottled 2012, 48%abv

Typical cost of this bottle;

Reviewed as part of MMA 2012


Glass: Classic Malt

Colour: Pale yellow

Nose: This offers some lovely, very mildly floral and perfumed aromas. I'm reminded of a wild Alpine meadow in early summer but there's also some obvious wood influence without being overly oaky. Maybe this is a little more earthy peatiness, but so far it's more a gentle giant than a peat monster.

Has a very creamy mouth-feel and is much bigger than the nose as it intensifies across the palate with a very nice floral fruitiness.

Finish: Very long, floral and very nice.

Overall Impression:
I found more intense but light floral and perfumed notes than heavy peat, although it did offer an earthiness too. This isn't bad, in fact it's a very good whisky especially as I love that kind of character in my drams.




Hakushu, Sherry Cask, bottled 2012, 48%abv

Typical cost of this bottle;

Reviewed as part of MMA 2012


Glass: Classic Malt

Colour: Not far removed from ebony

Nose: Now this is rich, starting with a colour not far removed from ebony to the suggestions of antique oak and leather immediately predominant on the nose. There's even a slight suggestion of wood smoke in the background whilst retaining a surprising freshness and clarity. With time in the glass an almost, but not quite, perfumed character develops. Wonderful indeed so far.

It positively explodes with big, rich, bold, even extravagant rich dark fruitiness accompanied by toasted coconut macaroons dipped in milk chocolate

Finish: Let's say all of the nose and palate in a delightfully never-ending way.

Overall Impression:
What a star it is too. Big, bold, massively extravagant and yet with an underlying lightly perfumed character alongside the rich leatheriness and fruitiness on the nose. The toasted coconut macaroon effect was a delight which immediately transported me to Alsace. Meanwhile, did I just use that word "Great" it certainly is.









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