Nose: At 43%abv it’s no heavy hitter but elegant and complex. Dark cherries, roasted chestnuts, raisins, vanilla, Valencia oranges, nutmeg, red grapes, a waxy note, Cherry Ripes, subtle oak, brandy snaps. Palate: Faithfully follow’s the nose for the most part but the oak is definitely firmer. There is also cloves and old leather. Water brings out sultana’s, mint milk chocolate, red berries and cocoa powder. The fruit flavors are nice and juicy. Finish: Medium length on mint milk chocolate, menthol, nutmeg, oak and cocoa. Last Word: High quality and classy blend with classic Suntory Sherry Cask matured whisky elements wrapped up in a elegant package. I’ll add that in reality much darker in color than the photo which is heavily backlit.
Nose: Rich and Fruity. White peaches, apricots, cherries, toffee, ginger snaps, white pepper, cinnamon, tobacco pouch, bourbony orange and rye. Palate: Follows the nose closely and adds some salted peanuts and subtle oiliness. Nice balance of fruit and spice. Finish: Peppery spice, the bourbon orange and rye, sweet tobacco and leather. The oiliness assists in allowing to flavors to cling to the palate for good length. Last Word: A smooth whisky blended to to be a neat sipper not a mixer though no doubt a mixologist could use this in a fancy cocktail. I’d call it satisfying from nose to finish.
Nose: Citrus, wild flowers, almonds, macadamia’s, white peaches, sandalwood. Fresh and lively. Palate: Delicate, yet with some viscosity. White peaches, wild flowers, vanilla, almonds, macadamia’s, butter, sandalwood, lifesavers fruit tingle candies. Finish: Macadamia’s, almonds, sandalwood, white peaches and butter. Last Word: A classy blend from the house of Suntory that is more malty than grainy. Would be stellar at 50%abv.
Nose: Lots of juicy tropical fruits. Oak, toffee, wood spices. Palate: Mouth coating toffee, raisins, rhubarb, dates, a mix of savory and wood spices, oak, chocolate, and menthol. Certainly a lot more satisfying than the regular Hibiki Harmony. Finish: Toffee, spices, oak and menthol. Last Word: For mine this one is actually more malty and less grainy that the 12, 17 and 21 year old Hibiki’s. While not hugely complex it has been well blended for good balance. Also seems to have a large component of aged whiskies in the mix. If like me you find the regular Hibiki Harmony a bit of an embarrassment for Suntory, this is definitely more that one step in the right direction. Not cheap for a NAS blend but I personally prefer this to the Hibiki 12YO. Excellent session whisky as I always find myself pouring more than one.
*Note: This is one of those travel exclusive whiskies so only sold in duty free stores but more than just a fancy label on the regular product like many are.
Nose: Chewy malt, barley sugar, butter menthols, toffee, honey, cantaloupe, butter scotch. Palate: Toffee, toffee apples, malt, barley sugar, candied oranges, butter menthols, honey, mixed peel, cashews, cantaloupe, some fizzy candy. A feint wisp of smoke. Finish: Butter Menthols, barley sugar, honey, toffee apples, yeast, cashews, pipe tobacco. Nicely warming. Last Word: Smooth as quality blend should be but with the character of a single malt. A step up from the 12YO for sure. Tasted this a few times before but this is the first bottle I’ve bought. Begs you to pour another!
Nose: Licorice covered oak with lemon and banana. Some macadamia nuttyness and wood stain. Sweet and creamy with soft grains of mainly bran and wheat. After about 10 minutes, apricot makes an appearance. Palate: Very creamy but with that hint of lemon bitterness. Macadamia nut, licorice, banana, nutmeg and golden syrup. Smooth! Finish: Smooth, soft grain, creamy nuts, licorice, lemon and some salty zing on the tongue. Last Word: This whisky wears it’s ‘blendedness’ on this it’s sleeve with the grains definitely dominating. If you are looking for a malty blend then this one is probably not for you. If, however, you like a smooth Bourbon-esque style then step in line. Rating: 86/100
Nose: Lots of orange and sweet lemon. Firm grain. Fresh dough, wood stain and something slightly chargrilled. Light florals. Palate: Smooth like it’s cousin the Suntory Royal 15YO: zingy citrus, cream, some oak, fresh dough. Excellent balance. Finish: Again, smooth with a medium length: sweet and creamy with just enough sweet spice to add some oomph. Rating: 85/100
Nose: An extremely rich bouquet; Seville oranges, bananas, licorice, polished leather, bourbon barrel oak, vanilla, orange coffee. Palate: Smooth and creamy to start; then a big dollop of sweet spices, nutmeg, cinnamon, vanilla, licorice. More of the Seville oranges plus white plums, leather and sweet cigar leaf. Finish: Long, with a fruity/dry combination dominated by the flavors on the palate. Last Word: A sophisticated blend. I highly recommend it. Rating: 91/100
Nose: Mouldy orange and grapefruit skins intertwined with a strong floral note. Some woodiness and a little apricot. Palate: A soapy mouth feel. It is bitter and adds little to what was found on the nose. Finish: Bitter, basic and, like Suntory’s Gold Blended Malt, mercifully short. Rating: 64/100
Nose: Immediately reminded me of its younger brother the Special Reserve Aged 10 Years. Apple custard, stewed pears. tinned peaches, banana, sawdust. Very creamy with a big dollop of Demerara sugar. Palate: Yum. Very creamy mouth feels. 5 spice, mashed bananas, apple custard, tinned peaches, smooth oak. Finish: Fresh cream-covered peaches, stewed apples and banana, sprinkled with sweet spices.
Last Word: Never loses its composure. Excellent blending. I`m giving the same score as the 10-yo version. Rating: 87/100