I believe no introduction is needed into this particular blend, that on occasion, can out price a good Japanese single malt or even a Scottish malt for that matter. Famed both domestically and abroad, this fine blend can certainly justify itself when it comes to pricing. It appears though that in the last few years Hibiki's 17 year-old has slightly climbed in price. However, you can still obtain this elegant bottled goodness cheaply in Japan if you are prepared to look around.
Nose: Musk life savers, caramel fudge, faint orange zest, florally, hints of lavender, dried figs, sultanas, a dash of aniseed, oak, definitely many notes of sweetness.
Taste: Ground pepper, spice, slightly sulphuric, lavender cookies, toffee, licorice.
Finish: Once you get passed the toffee the finish can be semi-prolonged. The initial peppery kick comes and goes with waves of spice in the middle, finishing with yet again a musky life saver mouthfeel.
Balance: Certainly nothing negative about this, good mouthfeel, however, I personally enjoyed the nose on this opposed to the taste. The nose shows so much potential initially only to possibly have a shortage in taste.
Comment: Let this sit in the glass for a good while and let it open up, the aromas that seep out when doing this are rewarding. Nose around the glass and hover over it a while before diving in. No water added, however the majority of Hibiki drank in Japan is on ice, so possibly experiment.
Reviewed by Clint A