In 1923, Suntory’s founder Shinjiro Torii began constructing Japan’s first whisky distillery in Yamazaki in the outskirts of Kyoto. Known since ancient times as Minaseno and famed for its excellent water, this district became the birthplace of Japanese whisky. In 1973, Suntory built another distillery in Hakushu at the foot of Mt. Kaikomagatake in the Southern Japan Alps. It developed an unparalleled variety of malt whiskies and highly refined techniques in these two utopias of whisky, and brought to market such products as YAMAZAKI single malt whisky, HAKUSHU and HIBIKI blended whisky. The superior quality of Yamazaki single malt whisky is highly acclaimed the world over as evidenced by a growing list of awards from prestigious international spirits competitions.
Ultimately, this is a lush yet sweet whisky. It’s woody on the bouquet, with hints of candied rose. The honeyed essence unifies the flavors. It’s complex enough that tasting notes can really go where your imagination goes—unless of course you are distinctly familiar with the taste of Mizunara, a rare Japanese oak. Suntory has become a powerhouse in the whisky world, and this is due in part to the strength of their Hibiki products. This is an 86 proof spirit, both sweet and smokey, that somehow hits that rare spot between delicate and complex.