We would like to start our newly established whisky guide with a rather fruity and very smooth whisky. Therefore, it is not a big surprise that we are geographically looking towards Japan. Ladies and Gentleman, let’s try the Hibiki Japanese Harmony.
Artworth Whisky Guide
First of all, we would like to explain the reason why we found it necessary to launch this guide. Well, there are two very simple reasons. First one: we really love whisky. We don’t just like whisky or drink whisky, we really love this delicious and oak-colored liquid gold. Second one: how can a gentleman wearing a three-piece suit, sitting on a dark brown chesterfield couch right in front of an open fire not drink a whisky?
And before you ask yourself if you should write whisky or whiskey, it doesn’t really matter. As the Scottish guys are writing whisky without the “e” we prefer to do the same. We really love Scotch whisky. For that reason you will find us writing whisky.
Now, let’s leave the history lesson and the theoretical stuff and try this wonderful and fine dram.
Tasting: Hibiki Japanese Harmony
The Japanese Harmony is inspired by the Japanese division of the year into 24 seasons. He also got his name from the selected blend which led to this well-balanced whisky. It is made with malt whiskies from the Yamazaki and Hakushu distilleries as well as grain whisky from the Chita distillery. The master blender, Shingo Torii, at Suntory takes 5 different types of casks, including American white oak casks, Sherry casks and Mizunara oak casks, to create the Japanese Harmony.
The first notes in the nose are very smooth but rich. Layers of sweet honey combined with aromas of apricots. The oak and sherry casks are giving this beautiful golden color which you see in the glass.
Luckily, the generous fruit continues on to the palate. Orange zests are joining the apricot flavors and subtle spiciness. There’s a little peppery spice but the soft, succulent fruit takes hold. If you like the smooth and fruity Scotch whiskies with a Sherry-, Rum-, Portwood, or Oloroso-Cask finish this Japanese wonder is exactly the whisky you are looking for.
On the harmonious finish the spiciness takes over from the fruit and changes into a wooden and oaky note. You get kind of a sandalwood aroma with a sweet and fruity note.
The packaging is very classy and we really like the Japanese touch of the bottle and wrapping. The bottle has a sophisticated and simple design. Let’s be honest, a whisky is there to be displayed in a special rack next to your bookshelf and cigar humidor. Therefore we include this parameter into our whisky guide and rating.
The Hibiki Japanese Harmony is admirably versatile through its manufacturing process and it is not surprising that it is the most awarded Japanese blend. We love to combine the Hibiki with some white or milk chocolate from Läderach after a nice diner. And as this whisky is not smoky at all you can combine it very well with a cigar from Ahora Cigars.
This Japanese Harmony gets 7 Artworth Whisky Points out of 10!
Looking for a Scottish Whisky instead? Read our thoughts about the Laphroaig Brodir here.