Review No.17. Hakushu 12 Year Old

I have to declare that I did not intend to buy the Hakushu 12 Year Old.  A new specialist whiskey store opened near me and I was eager to visit. I remember having to ring a bell at the door to be let in, I looked at every bottle on every shelf, had a short chat with the owner and then walking out with a bottle of Hakushu 12 Year Old….. oh and it cost me £80!, which for me is at the upper end of my budget.  I very rarely walk into a store without knowing what I want to buy. Actually I never walk into a whisky shop without knowing what I want to buy apart from this moment.  I got carried away.


Whisky: Suntory Hakushu 12 Year Old Japanese Single Malt Whisky, 43% vol.

Nose: Lemon and lime, orange, earthy peat, grass, smoke

Taste: Orange bitters, citrus rind, dried fruit, peat and smoke

Finish: Bit of spice, clove, peat and smoke

Score: 4

Summary: This impulse purchase paid off big time for me.  When I think of this whisky I think of clean, fresh, sharp, nuanced and delicate.  It just comes across well balanced.  The citrus and earthy aromas and flavours just hit the spot for me.  Then the spice comes in at the end.  In my opinion this makes for a brilliant summer whisky.  I am very cautious with buying whiskies that hit the £60+ threshold and would not spend more than £100 on a bottle unless it is hard to find.  I did not regret this purchase.  I haven’t tried it yet, but you can get the Hakushu Distillers Reserve for less money and I would expect it to have a similar flavour profile.


Scoring scale: My scores reflect a balance of the overall experience, availability and cost for a whisky,

1 – not to my preference

2 – tastes fine but does not excite me

3 – more to my liking and would revisit occasionally

4 – very much to my liking and would consider as a regular feature on my whisky shelf

5 – permanent feature on my whisky shelf


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