Meaning echo or resonance, @suntorywhisky_hibiki embodies its meaning by being a whiskey that reveals its layered notes, aromas, and flavors in a repetitive fashion. The Japanese Harmony edition (originally released in 2015) owes its complex layering to how it was constructed. Again, being true to its name, Harmony is made from 3 individual distilleries and multiple distinct casks. The malt whiskeys derive from the Yamazaki and Hakushu distillers while the grain whiskey comes from the Chita distillery. The various casks include American white oak, ex-Sherry cask, Islay-style whiskey cask, and the rare Japanese Mizunara oak cast. The meticulous blending gives Harmony a crisp, clear golden color, similar to green apple cider.
ON THE NOSE
This is a very decadent whiskey when it comes to aroma. Despite its light crystal-clear color, the initial scent is one rich honey. This is an intensely sweet scent but is followed by a lighter, earthier sweetness that’s similar to banana nut bread. Underneath these rich notes is a foundation of light crisp oaky wood. You can easily pick up on the depth of this whiskey.
ON THE MOUTH
As foretold by the notes on the nose, I knew that there would be a savory sweetness to the taste but there is also a ton of spice. The spice is a combination of pepper, cooking spices, and citrus zest; along with a tad of peaty smokiness. If you are enjoying this with ice or a little water added, the pepper and spices fade and the citrus zest becomes more dominating. The sweetness is introduced on the backend with a slight maple syrup that brightens up as time passes. It eventually settles to be clean raw honey with a plush texture and medium finish.
Despite all of this complexity on the tongue, Harmony is a very easy sip. Since the spicy is early into the taste and is followed by a rich coating honey flavor, you’re felt with a very pleasant expression. This is a fine whiskey but shouldn’t be left to just special occasions and sipping. I believe this would also make a fantastic cocktail