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Hibiki Japanese Harmony A Good Starter Japanese Whisky

The world of Japanese whisky likely remains a mystery to many American whiskey drinkers, despite the fact one such bottling last year knocked Scotch off the top of the heap for one of the most coveted of all whisky awards. It is thus important to have relatively entry level expressions that are at least moderately priced so the curious can afford to try them, such as the recently debuted Hibiki Japanese Harmony blended whisky.

The Hibiki Japanese Harmony release comes from Suntory, which is part of the greater family of a spirits giant which also owns the likes of Jim Beam. This particular whisky, as a blend, is said to incorporate ten malt and grain whiskies, aged in five types of casks, from the three Suntory distilleries, which include Yamazaki, Hakushu and Chita. Furthermore, more specific to this mix, one finds

the same key malt and grain whiskies from the original Hibiki 17 and 21 Year Old blends, including rare Mizunara oak and sherry cask whisky and Chita grain whisky.

This whisky, “inspired by the riches and subtleties of the 24 Japanese seasons,” according to Suntory, is bottled at 43% ABV. It is globally pricing at around $85 USD, but I’ve been seeing it online through some American retailers already for an average of $70 USD at this point. Official tasting notes for it from those behind it are below.

Hibiki Japanese Harmony

“In philosophy and making, Hibiki Japanese Harmony is the new dawn of Hibiki, optimizing the same key malt and grain whiskies from the original Hibiki blend,” said Shinji Fukuyo, chief blender at Suntory, in a statement. “I envisioned a luminous harmony of flavours and aromas. A pure and simultaneously complex harmony that was at the core of every Hibiki blend.”

  • Nose: rose, lychee, hint of rosemary, mature woodiness, sandalwood
  • Palate: honey like sweetness, candied orange peel, white chocolate
  • Finish: subtle, tender long finish, with hint of Mizunara(Japanese oak)

5 Sherried Whisky Alternatives

Here are my recommendations for those of you who want something sweet and luscious, but a little different in your glass this year. 

Nino Kilgore-Marchetti

Nino Kilgore-Marchetti is the founder of The Whiskey Wash, an award winning whiskey lifestyle website dedicated to informing and entertaining consumers about whisk(e)y on a global level. As a whisk(e)y journalist, expert and judge he has written about the subject extensively, been interviewed in various media outlets and provided tasting input on many whiskeys at competitions. He also maintains a large private collection of whiskey from which he continually educates his palate on this brown spirit type.

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