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Beam Suntory recently announced the introduction of Haku Japanese Vodka to the United States. Created from Japanese ingredients by the master artisans at the House of Suntory, this premium spirit embodies Suntory founder Shinjiro Torii’s philosophy of monozukuri craftsmanship: a relentless pursuit of perfection, meticulous attention to detail and commitment to quality.

Although Haku literally means “white,” the subtlety of the Japanese language often gives kanji (Japanese characters) several meanings. While “Haku” is rooted in the word “Hakumai,” translated as Japanese white rice, its nuanced meaning can also be elevated to evoke “Junpaku,” which connotes an untainted brilliance.

Haku is made from 100 percent Japanese white rice. In Kagoshima, Kyushu, a region historically famous for its rice spirit making, the process begins with white rice fermented with koji rice to create a mash. The mash is then distilled through pot stills to create a rice spirit. It is then distilled for a second time through two different processes in a pot still and column still to create a uniquely flavored liquid. This liquid is then blended and filtered through bamboo charcoal in Osaka, Japan. This process, unique to Suntory, preserves and enhances the rice’s delicately sweet and subtle flavors.

The craftsmanship that goes into this liquid is complemented by its beautiful bottle. The curved lines on the Haku bottle represent the streams glistening through nature in Japan as they run through the four seasons. The label design consists of Junpaku (pure-white) washi paper – representing the beauty of Japanese white rice, the soul of this vodka – and Kanji calligraphy with sumi ink.

Haku Vodka (80 proof)
Visual: Clear.
Nose: Fresh, clean, and full of character. Like a heady mix of rain, minerals, peppermint and a whiff of vanilla bean.
Taste: Lovely smooth and clear entry. After a few seconds, more flavor comes into play, with some medium slate/chalk character; then as it fades, a hint of licorice adds just a touch of sweetness.
Finish: Medium long and with a refreshing liveliness.
Overall: An exceptional vodka made all the more exceptional due to it being crafted from rice. Really stunning.
GSN Rating: A+

For more information go to: Haku Vodka Suntory