Tag Archives: Hibiki 17

A Mature Face of Suntory: Hibiki 17

As far as bottles go, the Hibiki 17 is first-rate.  Something about this pre-fab decanter is viscerally satisfying.  Not only does it stand out, the girth and heft set it apart.  Here’s the really cool bit: the bottle shape is the same regardless of size.  The duty-free mid-size is a duty-free mid-size decanter.  Even the mini-size comes in a mini-decanter.  And if that wasn’t cool enough, it tastes good, too.

Aesthetics aside, Hibiki 17 is a blend of malt and grain from Suntory’s three distilleries:  Yamazaki, Hakushu and Chita.  But don’t fall into the trap of thinking that the Hibiki 17 is simply the older relative of the Hibiki 12 – flavor wise they are brothers from a different mother.

Hibki 17
43%ABV 7,980円/$95

Nate’s Impressions:

A warming rich gold pours pleasantly from the aforementioned decanter.  Waxy malts, a touch of salted, mellowing fruit, and a strong current of sugars ride a decently hot nose.  The first sip retains the solid undercurrent of noble sugars, slightly charred grains, marshmallow, and a sugary spice.  The age is respectably palpable in this whisky as it settles into a dense tail of peppery wood notes.  A satisfying, easy-to-enjoy whisky that has traded only a few of the curiously edgy aspects of its relatives for a well-knit, warming complexity.

Chris’ Impressions:

Color: Medium yellow/14k gold

Nose:  Lively alcohol vapor initially, nice oak presence, sweet – an apple tart or apple cake, cake frosting?, dusty

Palate: Deep rich oak, I can tell there is some older whisky in here, some incense and waxy notes, apples and a hint of spice

Finish: Medium-long with oak and a waxy – mizunara note

Comments: A great complex blend that balances being smooth yet interesting.  I know there is a lot of older whisky in this blend, but the price point is a little steep.

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