Hibiki 17 Years Old
43% ABV, £89 for 70cl
What they say:
Elegant. Poised. Slowly revealing a clear yet complex equilibrium.
Nose: peach, apricot, melon, rose, lily, lemon leaf
Palate: toffee, black cherry, vanilla, and Mizunara (Japanese oak)
Finish: sweet, fruity, and lychee aftertaste
What I say:
The second youngest in the Hibiki blend range after the 12 year old, and which also comprises of the 21 and 30 year old expressions. Presented at the Water Of Life Society Suntory Tasting 2014.
Full amber gold, with thick/heavy tears
Deep cereal wheat, and barley malt, honey, golden syrup, light spices, apricot, quince, toffee, caramel, new leather handbag
Toffee and oak, spiced, nutmeg, pepper, floral, fragrant rose, peach and apricot, very light and delicate
Medium, slightly drying, fragrant/perfumed
The Hibiki 17 year old blend has a much more pronounced richer sugar nature (toffee) and some tannic overtones from the extra ageing or perhaps a greater percentage of the blend is made from Sherry-matured stock? This has a more robust nature than the 12 year old and has the body to be drammed as it is, requiring neither mixers or dilution. Perhaps some of the youthfull/floral nature from the 12yo is lacking, suggestive of a different palate built specifically by the blender – it would be wrong to assume this is the 12yo with an extra 5 years maturation – this is clearly a different blend altogether