Slainte-Mhath

Hakushu 18 Year

Peated Single Malt — Japan

Tasted
4.0
4.0 out of 5 stars
Located at the foothills of the Japanese Alps, Suntory’s second distillery has always stood in the shadow of Yamazaki. Not surprisingly, Hakushu 18 attempts to be a bit like his famous brother. Notes of sherry subdue floral freshness and whiffs of smoke, and the nose unfolds beautifully with unripe papaya, incense and a touch of plum wine. Rich and intense, the taste combines fruity, herbal and spicy flavors with just a hint of peat. Lingering spices, licorice and re-emerging freshness characterize the semidry finish. A worthy silver medal for a fine dram! RATING: 4.0/5.0 stars ≙ 88 pts → FIRST-CLASS
475.0 EUR per Bottle
  • Slainte-Mhath

    Links to all my Japan distillery reviews + slideshows with photos can be found here: https://www.whiskybase.com/contribute/group/73/topic/17837/japanese-whisky-at-the-crossroads-a-travel-report?page=1#post123246

  • Slainte-Mhath

    @Soba45 It was cheaper about 3 years ago, when I bought a Yamazaki 18 at the distillery for 27,000 Yen. Not anymore, now everything is sold out.

  • Soba45

    @Slainte-Mhath Ah sorry got confused. I thought I saw a post about the cost of the 18 Yam direct from the distillery being a lot cheaper..obviously not!

  • Slainte-Mhath

    @Soba45 There was only one shop in Tokyo having Yamazaki 18 and Hakushu 18 in stock, and they wanted 75,000 Yen for each. On the secondary market, Yamazaki tends to be more expensive than Hakushu, but not by much. In the end, I spent the rest of my vacation money to buy a Hibiki 21, but that was most likely the last bottle of Japanese whisky I have bought in a while...

  • Soba45

    @Slainte-Mhath Wow 75k Yen that's very expensive compared to what you said the 18 yr Yamazaki was. Wonder why the difference?

  • Slainte-Mhath

    @Whiskali I had actually planned to buy a bottle of Hakushu 18 during my recent Japan trip, but after tasting and reviewing it at the distillery, I reconsidered. There is nothing wrong with the malt, it is very high quality, but somehow I had expected something different. At least I wasn't willing to pay 75,000 Yen for the bottle.

  • Whiskali

    @Slainte-Mhath Great review! I’m a big fan of Hakushu 12 and have been curious about the 18 ... not that I anticipate being able to find a bottle but curious nonetheless. I can see how sherry could cover up some of the characteristics that making the 12 so enjoyable. Will seek out a pour. Thanks again for your insights.

  • Slainte-Mhath

    Additional comment: Tasted and reviewed at Hakushu distillery in July 2019. Compared to the 12-year-old expression, this older bottling gained quality but lost a bit of its character. I love the fresh and herbal style of Hakushu 12, and think that the 18-year-old version would have scored better without the 'sherry overcoat'. The 25-year-old Hakushu - which I will not review - follows in the footsteps of Hakushu 18 with even more sherry and cask influence.