House of Suntory, part of Beam-Suntory, recently announced the debut of a new Japanese whisky under the Hibiki label that was finished in Sakura (cherry blossom) casks.
The new Hibiki Blossom Harmony, according to those behind it, is a blend of various malt and grain whiskies from Suntory’s Yamazaki, Hakushu and Chita distilleries. In choosing the finishing cask type for this blend, the Sakura wood was one that was said to have “intrigued Fifth Generation Chief Blender Shinji Fukuyo.”
“I have been mesmerized by the Sakura cask for the last five years now due to its symbolism, but also because of its distinctive, subtly floral and spicy aroma and flavor notes,” said Fukuyo in a prepared statement. “There have been many experiments with malt and grain whisky components, and we found that there was a special alchemy between the grain whiskies and the Sakura cask.
“It is this special relationship – harmony – that inspired me to create this blend.”
In speaking to the symbolism noted above, the the Sakura blossom season in early spring, it was explained by Suntory, “has always been an occasion for celebration in Japan, with many gathering around the beautiful flowering Sakura trees that inspire the Japanese to appreciate life as it blooms.”
“As a limited edition, I wanted our Hibiki aficionados to enjoy a Hibiki they had never experienced before – something unexpected, something surprising,” continued Fukuyo. “This is a Hibiki that celebrates a particular moment in your life, a harmony that blossoms. It would mean so much to me if you could enjoy it with someone special, someone who makes you blossom.”
This limited-edition bottle is available now in select global markets including in the United States, the United Kingdom, Australia, Germany, France, Spain, Austria, United Arab Emirates, Netherlands, Italy, Turkey, China, Hong Kong, Singapore, Taiwan, South Korea, Thailand and Vietnam. It is bottled at 43 percent ABV and has a suggested retail price of $160. Official tasting notes are below.
Nose: Wafting floral scents, sakura, fragrant olive
Palate: Smooth mouthfeel, expanding fragrance, acacia honey, French pear and a refined sweetness suggestive of sakura mochi
Finish: Long-lasting rich and brilliant aftertaste
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Nino Kilgore-Marchetti is the founder and editor-in-chief 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...