September 2, 2013
Hibiki 12 is a widely-acclaimed blend of 12 year-old (or greater) Japanese whisky from global giant Suntory. It includes malts from Yamazaki and Hakushu and grain from Chita distillery. The components are aged in a variety of casks including ex-bourbon, ex-sherry, and casks that once held Umeshu, a plum liqueur.
August 26, 2013
I have good news and bad news for you. The bad news is that the statement “Older is not always better” has proven true in my own experience. Sorry. The good news is that you can take it with a grain of salt
August 19, 2013
If this was once Auchentoshan, the sherry monster murdered it and stuffed it in a closet. While Auchentoshan Classic is understated, vanilla, and crisp, this is resinous, sticky-sweet, and overripe. That’s not to say it’s bad.
August 12, 2013
I was surprised at both the apparent age and the quality of this sample, and is robust and flavorful despite being only 40% ABV. For a 10 year-old to have this much deep, oxidized sherry flavor is impressive, and a testament to whatever casks they’re using.
July 22, 2013
A few more years and a bottle strength of 46% ABV would do wonders for this malt. The nose is straightforward but delectable. The palate is somewhat washed-out, and the finish suffers somewhat from its youth (or lack of heavy wood influence). This isn’t a malt to impress at this age, but it shows promise of complexity in its future.
July 8, 2013
With barley grown in Scotland, distilled and aged under Jim McEwan’s watchful eye, and bottled at a laudable 46% ABV without chill-filtration or added coloring, it was bound to make a big splash. It ticks all of the boxes for me: independent ownership, responsible quality-minded production, craft presentation, and all with medium levels of peat to better showcase the character of the spirit and the quality of the wood.
May 20, 2013
This malt has a lot going for it. Despite the recalcitrant nose, there is a delectable balance of nutty and fruity notes on the palate that is unrivaled by sherried malts in this price range. The balance here is impeccable, and the finish is flawless.
May 13, 2013
A nose overly dominant with peat is improved by better balance on the tongue and in the finish. While still less focused and more “dirty” (in the sense of the assorted unpleasant side-effects of peat) than similarly-priced Islays, there is reasonable complexity.
May 6, 2013
This is akin to 10 year-old Springbank in many ways – from the earthy “not quite smokey” peat, to the industrial oily notes, and the emphasis on barrel char. At around $55, there isn’t a lot of reason to recommend this 10 year-old.
April 29, 2013
The palate is even and crisp, with clear flavors of barley and light oak. It seems to me, however, to be a bit of a blank canvas, and the vinegar on the nose is a bit more sour than I’d like. In fact, the leanness of the malt is such that I’d wonder if it was a lowlander – it bears a lot of resemblance to younger Auchentoshan.