Hibiki 17 Years Review

Hibiki 17 years is an interesting whisky because it doesn’t really drink like a blend. It’s the kind of whisky that you could be forgiven for confusing it with a single malt. It came in a 24 sided glass decanter like the Hibiki 12 and outside of the numerical difference and a different color of text, it looked very similar in both presentation and whisky color.

Even when it did make an appearance in America it was rare and almost always hidden behind glass doors and cases. The ones you have to push a button or flag someone down to open so you can purchase the whiskey and take it home with you. These days the Hibiki 17 would cost you 3-4x+ times that in specialty shops, secondary markets and online auctions. Oh the whisky world we live in.

Hibiki 17 Info

Region: Japan

Distiller: Suntory
Mashbill: Single malt + Grain Whisky
Cask: “Oak” (likely ex-Bourbon and some ex-sherry)
Age: 17 Years
ABV: 43%

Price: NA – Auction and Specialty (not easily found outside of Japan)

Hibiki 17 Review

EYE
Caramel

NOSE
Toffee, malt, orange peels, smokey char, oily, nutty and a bit of dark fruit. It’s a solid, complex aroma. It’s quite nice.

PALATE
Toffee, malt, smoky char, nutty, spice, wood and a touch of dark fruit. The nose is more complex than the palate, but again it’s solid, complex and rich. It’s something I could easily drink and never get bored with.

FINISH
Long fade of toffee, malt, spice, smoke and wood. It has a subtle dark fruit underpinning to it and like the rest is quite nice.

BALANCE, BODY & FEEL
Well balanced, medium body and velvety feel.

OVERALL
Hibiki 17 is a good whisky. I wish I had picked up a bottle when it was a bit easier to find and the price on it wasn’t quite so crazy. Though those days are long gone and until the tide of ravenous whisky consumers recedes we’re not likely to see this readily available at a not-insane price anytime in the near future. Damn you supply and demand… damn you.

SCORE: 90/100 (A-)

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