So much whisky, so little time | Singapore | Tasting Notes

Hakushu 18yo vs Hakushu 25 yo

With Japanese whisky soaring in popularity, I don’t think any introduction is required for Hakushu. Just a reminder of the sibling relationship to Yamazaki, something you might notice in the philosophy of diversification in the still house:



Having stills of a range of shape and sizes help Suntory distill to a specific style they desire, it is safe to say that the core range is probably blended from the product of several of these stills.

Hakushu 18yo 43%

 Nose: Blackberry jam, or fruit of the forest, with a rather soft and enticing oak that’s really ‘just right’ with a balance of wood spice, tannins and vanilla. However not really a lush nose, the sweetness is matched with cool eucalyptus and crisp mint leaf. Full of green freshness and spring water. Bark, clean compost and just some damp wood. So rather high toned and refreshing than lush and lolling. Very high quality.

 Palate: The purple dry aromatics of the sherry is much more pronounced on the tongue, and also a deep resinous oak, but like the nose again that all recedes in the face of a surge of cool and moist green-ness. Really quite refreshing. Light earth, wet bark and fallen trees beginning to decompose. Gets earthier with damp wood and earthen floors. The oak balance is again a model to the Scots, kudos to the fineness of the Japanese palate.

 Finish: Medium long, continues on these light earthy, wet wood notes, plus a late reappearance of resin, and dry aromatics of the sherry. I really much prefer the Hakushu style over the Yamazaki.



Hakushu 25yo 43%

 Nose: Very sherry dominant, but the sherry is exquisite. Precise balance between the soft richness of the jammy purple fruit, the gentle cinnamon, nutmeg and cardamom, and the oak-iness, with the bitterness of the wood tannins kept in check. Again not a lush whisky, and the whole doesn’t sit on a big malty body and maybe that’s done this 25yo some disservice as the wet leaves and bark, compost and mushrooms from the high toned spirit, while a great match for the earthier parts of the sherry, seems insufficient to retain balance as a whole. Still, if you like sherry, here it is honestly great.

 Palate: Plays out as expected from the nose – deep and rich, but very quickly turns very earthy, with some black tea, some soot, a bit of polish, a touch of traditional medicine. Certainly more dry than sweet. Even slightly phenolic with  charred and smoking wood. Quite a number of high quality sherry casks went into this. All in all, again somewhat lean in body.

 Finish: Long, remains dry but rich, some wet earth and oak panels. Impressive, but I would stick with the 18yo myself.

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This entry was posted on June 11, 2017 by in Hakushu and tagged .
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