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Drink Review : Suntory Hibiki Harmony

Hibiki Japanese Harmony is a blend of Japanese malt and grain whiskies from Yamazaki, Hakushu and Chita. Presented in the brand’s trademark 24-faceted bottle representing the Japanese seasons, this is light, approachable and moreish with enticing notes of orange peel and white chocolate.

Suntory Harmony Review:

Harmony Hibiki, the common name for Suntory’s Hibiki Japanese Harmony, is a blend of Japanese malt and grain whiskies from Yamazaki, Hakushu and Chita. These whiskeys are traditional and restorative in nature and are distilled at Suntory’s Yamazaki plant, the oldest licensed distillery in Japan.

I found this a really nice drink that lacks the intensity of some Japanese whiskies but is still doing well. It has a great mouth-feel, light on the palate and robust in flavour (think sherried malt and a hint of fresh vanilla beans.) It falls into the sherried whisky category for me but shows a lovely balance between malt and grain.

The usual entry level blend from Japanese drinks makers,Hibiki Harmony has been on the scene for nearly 30 years. It was first introduced in 1975 and was marketed as “the Japanese drink for men.” “Harmony” refers to the Japanese concept of harmony, particularly between humans (Hibiki), as well as the desire to bring balance to society; I find this excellent tie in as it means we are less likely to suffer the wanton aggression that can be a feature of whisky.

Suntory Harmony Review:

Whilst this is a Japanese drink and therefore contains grain, it is distilled primarily from malted barley. Hibiki Japanese Harmony is bottled as part of the Suntory lineup that is exported around the world, including over 25 countries.

Harmony Hibiki is a blend of Japanese malt and grain whiskies from Yamazaki, Hakushu and Chita. These whiskeys are traditional and restorative in nature and are distilled at Suntory’s Yamazaki plant, the oldest licensed distillery in Japan.

Harmony is distilled from a grain mix and is supposed to be a whisky that is easy to sip and also easy to like.

I found this drink to be a pleasant and easy to drink whisky. When I first tried it it certainly didn’t tickle my tastebuds in the way I would have hoped a good Japanese whisky should have done.

The smell of the spirit is woody and rich. The smell is fruity with a hint of vanilla.

The taste is fruity and quite sweet, honey notes. It has a light creamy character and a smooth, satisfying finish. I really like the way the malt and grain together make a drink that is easy to drink.

Simply a great whisky.

Whilst this is a Japanese drink and therefore contains grain, it is distilled primarily from malted barley.

Yamazaki, Hakushu and Chita are referred to as the three pillars of Japanese whiskey. It is distilled at the original Yamazaki distillery in Kyoto. In the 18th century, the son of the city’s lord studied to be a priest in Kyoto.

Suntory Hibiki Harmony Review:

Slowly reveals its true depth. The spirit is smooth and creamy with a wonderful flavour of ginger, cinnamon, honey and honeycomb. It didn’t have that fizz to me but you will find that this is due to the Japanese philosophy on bubbles – the Japanese like a spirit in which the bubbles are almost non existent. I found in every sip there was a fruit note with an underlying sharpness in the aftertaste from the ginger and cinnamon.

The smell is a little different to the taste, the spirit being quite earthy.

The taste is fruity and quite sweet, honey notes. It has a light creamy character and a smooth, satisfying finish. I really like the way the malt and grain together make a drink that is easy to drink, a little bit like the sherried malt and the fruity tones you find in whiskys from the great drams of Scotland.

This doesn’t have the depth of the other Japanese whiskies I have tried but it is a pretty drink that you can’t help but be drawn to if you like sherried drinks.

I find this a really nice Whisky. It has excellent balance and a smooth taste.

Written by Mark Adams

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