Published : 26/01/2020 13:23:04
Ten years in a row and Hibiki, the most popular Japanese whisky, continues to earn accolades and trophies. World’s Best Blended Whisky in 2019, Double Gold in the International Spirits Challenge, Supreme Champion Spirit, this whisky has won it all, and with good reasons; in the words of its makers, it’s «blessed with the richness of Japanese nature and craftsmanship».
Hibiki 21 is made with utmost care; you can taste it. Just a drop on your tongue and a world of flavors unravel in an intense, evocative explosion.
Is this the best blended whisky in the world? You’re about to find out and most importantly, we’ll tell you why you need to get a bottle today before it’s price spikes.
Let’s start by answering the most common question, what is a blended whisky?
In the realm of whiskies, it can be broadly categorized into two types - the single malts, and the blended whiskies. Single malts are made in a single distillery with malted barley. It’s a pure expression of the ingredients and the distiller’s personality, since every batch taste a bit different.
Blended whiskies are more complicated than that. In the case of Hibiki, master blenders assess over 300 different whiskies from the company’s most prestigious distilleries to select at least thirty components that are blended with precision in pursuit of harmony. And harmony is what Hibiki 21 is all about.
Meet the Maker
If you want to understand Hibiki, you must get to know its maker, Suntory. The largest distiller in Japan is also the first whisky distilling company in the country. It all started with a man and a dream, Shinjiro Torii founded its first distillery in Yamazaki in 1924, and the company changed its name to Suntory a few decades later.
Hibiki and few other whiskies soon became premium spirits of the highest quality but weren’t globally recognized until the turn of the century when they started to dominate competitions.
Balance, harmony and enticing flavors
Hibiki is part of the competitive blended whisky category that includes Scotland’s own Johnnie Walker Blue Label and Chivas Regal 18. For the price, Hibiki 21 is an unbeatable value, and with increasing demand and limited productions, it’s forecasted to be almost impossible to find in the next years.
So, how does Hibiki taste like?
The nose starts as a complex bouquet of orange peels, caramel, autumn nuts, dried fruit, and spices. In the palate, flavors burst with complexity and elegance that end in a long, warm finish.
The amazing array of flavors of aromas come from aging Hibiki 21. Contrary to what you might think, the age statement refers to the youngest whisky in the blend! So, this beauty is created with rare, pretty old whiskies.
The ritual of enjoying Hibiki
A harmonious and potent whisky like Hibiki 21 is best enjoyed neat or with little water. You don’t want to dilute this one too much and risk losing its subtle nuances – Sip this whisky in a calm, relaxing environment.
Joyful and contemplative, Hibiki 21 is one of the finest whiskies in the market. Although not precisely inexpensive, it’s still a great value considering it is, for many, the best blended whisky on earth.
Get yours while you can; it will become the centerpiece of your collection and a great conversation starter.