Nose: Background smoke in small but distinguishable doses, dollop of ice cream in cola, hint of dusty floor boards, overdone crumpets, fresh hessian bags, florally, peach syrup.
Taste: Barley, spice-but not dominant, bit of smoke mostly over the half way mark, pipe tobacco, chewy.
Finish: Hefty spice kick initially that rolls out into soft vanilla, long, eventually sweet and oily.
Balance: Slight burn on initial mouthfeel but smoothens out for an intriguing balance of spice, faint smoke and sweetness.
Comment: I would have to say that Hakushu is one of my favourite expressions compared to a variety of other major Japanese distillery bottlings out there. This certainly is quality in my opinion and I always find my self ordering this when out.
Reviewed by Clint A