Hakushu 18 Years Old

Japanese single malt whisky

43% ABV, £159.67 for 70cl from Master of Malt

Score: 86/100

Hakushu18yo

What they say:

Silky with floral notes.

Color: deep gold
Nose: ripe pear, dried mint, oregano, hint of smoke
Palate: jasmine, mango, quince, menthol
Finish: long, pleasantly smoked, hint of bitterness

What I say:

The 18 year old expression from Hakushu distillery

Colour:

Rich amber gold

Nose:

Custard, vanilla, peach, apricot, apple and pear fruits, cereal barley, honey, sweet pine, oak wood and tangerine

Taste:

Light and delicate peach jelly, oak wood, hints of peat smoke, butterscotch, white grape, pine sap and toffee

Finish:

Medium, sour oak wood and toffee, slightly drying

Overall:

Much more full-bodied and refined flavours than found in the Hakushu 12 year old expression. The freshness and pine are still here but only just. The peat smoke has also taken on a fruity ‘tangerine’-like quality. At first this seems less complex until you realise the flavours are just more integrated in this expression, the additional years of maturation have really moved this Hakushu expression into a different class from the 12 year old.