Suntory Hibiki 17 Years Old Whisky
Man in harmony with nature
When I asked fellow obsessive, Justin Hicklin, what would be the best whisky to feature on the The Obsessive, he immediately demanded clarity on the brief. We decided on one that would come in at under £200.
Without hesitation, he recommended the Suntory Hibiki 17 Years Old, asserting, “The Japanese are leading the world in premium whisky at the moment, and this one is a delicious classic.”
I’ve been lucky enough to have spent time in Japan, and it’s one of the most beautiful places in the world. The Japanese are a nation of perfectionists, and their traditional aesthetics possess an elegance that comes from their belief in man’s harmony with nature. This philosophy is reflected in everything from architecture to stationery; so, I wasn’t surprised to discover that a whisky from Japan would be the choice of an obsessive.
The Suntory distillery was founded in 1923, by Shinjiro Torii. It is located in Yamasaki, Kyoto, a mountainous area which produces some of the purest water in Japan, filtered through the granite mountain rock for hundreds of years.
Shinjiro’s vision was to create a whisky that embodied the essence of Japanese nature, hand-crafted by artisans. The Suntory distillery has no less than six “noses” or master artisans, all of whom strive ceaselessly to perfect the subtle flavours of their whisky. Everything in the process is continually refined and perfected, with meticulous attention to detail; Suntory even make their own barrels by hand from the Japanese oak, Mizunara.
All this patient effort results in an exceptional whisky, which is subtle and harmonious. The Hibiki range is a blended whisky, and the 17 year old is elegant, yet complex in its flavour, slowly revealing itself as you drink it. The finish is delightfully refreshing: it’s the flavour of Japan.
Country of Origin : Japan
Brand/Make/Model: Suntory Hibiki 17 Years Old
Creators: 6 artisan "noses"
Type: Blended Whisky
Year: 1989 to date
Why: An award winning, subtle, elegant and refreshing whisky, made by true artisans.