Review: Hibiki Japanese Harmony Master’s Select

Category: Blended Japanese whisky

Distillery: Various, but likely to include Yamazaki, Hakushu (Malt) and Chita (Grain)

Bottling: Official, Travel Retail Edition

ABV: 43%

Cost: £55.99 from World Of Whiskies

hibiki-harmony-masters-select

What they say:

Hibiki was created to be the paradigm of the Suntory blend. The Name Hibiki literally means “resonance” in Japanese, and reflects the Suntory Corporate philosophy to “live in harmony with people and nature.” Hibiki celebrates Japanese nature and the subtleties found in the 24 seasons of the traditional calendar, reflected in the 24 factes of its bottle design. Hibiki is a harmonious blend of innumerous malt and grain whiskies from Suntory’s distilleries, which are meticulously blended to create a full orchestra of flavours and aromas.

Hibiki Japanese Harmony is the epitome of the Hibiki blend. This subtle, noble and harmonious blend features hints of Yamazaki Sherry Cask. It’s an exclusive limited edition sure to delight any whisky connoisseur.

Tasting notes

Colour: Amber

Nose: Plum in syrup, roses, a sweet woodiness

Palate: Orange marmalade, dark chocolate, a slight bitterness

Finish: Lingering sweetness and acidity, spices and wood

Tasting Notes from World of Whiskies

Deep harvest gold in colour. An initial scent of tart fruits, soon merging into baked apples and orange zest, with a trace of vanilla on a faintly tropical-floral base. A drop of water adds a hint of oak shavings. A smooth texture, with a sweet apricot start, drying in the warming, spicy finish. At reduced strength, the taste is more tart, with a slightly charred, oaky aftertaste.

Hibiki Japanese Harmony Master's Select

What I say:

Following the recent release of the Hibiki Japanese Harmony NAS (No-age statement) blend from Suntory to add to their 12, 17, 21 and 30 year old aged Hibiki blend line-up, this limited Travel Retail Edition was launched. Having just sampled the Hibiki Japanese Harmony I was curious to try this TRE to see how it compared.

Colour:

Bright and refractive rose gold (9/20), slow med-large tears leave long fine legs

Nose:

Sweet, spun sugar, toffee and florally rich, with deeper aromas of butterscotch, fudge and oak wood, stewed fruits, plum, quince, pear and rose with a touch of lavender and cherry blossom

Taste:

Mouthcoating and luxurious body, fruit syrup, a touch of stem ginger, white pepper or lemon and lime sherbet add a little zesty kick, caramel, toffee and oak wood, milk chocolate, and chocolate milk

Finish:

Medium-long, slightly drying and the tannic oak is lightly spiced with cinnamon and nutmeg

Overall:

Nice blended Japanese whisky, a definite improvement over the standard Hibiki Japanese Harmony blend. This Master’s Select expression has a touch more oak wood and a good chocolate component though occasionally it was overpowered slightly by the spiciness of the oak wood.

Score: 82/100

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