Hakushu 12: A Suntory Star at a Very Sharp Price – Japanese Whisky News

A New Allocation of an Old Favorite from Suntory
Suntory Hakushu 12 Year Old Japanese Peated Single Malt Whisky (750ml) ($119.99)
“Hakushu has always been my favorite of the Suntory malts.”
— Andrew Whiteley, K&L NorCal Spirits Buyer

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It is no secret that Japanese single malts have become wildly expensive in recent years. This is what happens when a limited production collectible meets a precipitous climb in demand. That being said, on occasion, we are able to track down a bottling that bucks this trend and isn’t priced into the stratosphere—enter the Hakushu 12 Year Old. A prized bottling in Suntory’s impressive collection, this peated malt has developed quite a devoted following over the years. Graced with a modest touch of smoke, it unveils a classic Japanese profile of persimmon, melon, honey, vanilla, and jasmine. Lithe and elegant, there’s also some underlying power that makes the whole composition all the more intriguing. Priced elsewhere north of $200, we have this classic Japanese malt for a market-best price of $119.99. This is a steal for a whiskey of this caliber and is practically unheard of in today’s market. Japanese whiskies with an age statement are harder to find by the day, so finding one with this kind of pedigree and so affordably priced is a real boon for collectors. As you might expect, our allocation is limited, so don’t waste any time in adding this gem to your collection.

Suntory Hakushu 12 Year Old Japanese Peated Single Malt Whisky (750ml) ($119.99)

Whisky Advocate: “Although only two years older, this expression of Hakushu the first to be launched in the U.S. shows a fleshier side to the distillery’s wares. While it has retained the freshness of the 10 year old, it shows more pineapple and grapefruit on the nose, with a little fragrance of jasmine and osmanthus. On the palate, it’s fresh and lively with a hint of persimmon and a tickle of smoke. Recommended. (DB, Spring 2012)”

K&L Notes: Suntory’s Hakushu, known as the “forest distillery,” was built in 1973 as a sister distillery to Suntory’s Yamazaki (previously the only Japanese single malt available in the U.S.). The facility is located at a high-elevation site next to the pristine waters of the Ojira River, which are used to dilute the whisky itself. Hakushu distillery uses different styles of oak barrel to age their single malt, but mainly hogshead, which, according to the distillery, is “suitable to the clear air and cool humid climate.” The 12-year old from Hakushu is lightly peated and very delicate in its flavor profile. The light and fruity style of the whisky is quite similar to the Yamazaki 12, but the smoke really makes up for any lack of richness. We’ve seen insane price increases over the last five years on Japanese whisky and inventory getting tighter and tighter, but for a limited time, we have Hakushu 12 in stock and available to sell, and at a fraction of the price you’ll see at many other retailers across the country.

Andrew Whiteley | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: June 27, 2019

Hakushu has always been my favorite of the Suntory malts. The sweet and elegant malt profile is rounded out beautifully by the gentle peat smoke giving the whisky more body and texture than its brothers. The “forest distillery” also produces a verdant whisky – it feels green and fresh, cool and earthy. Moist peat and cool mint gently hold up the bouquet of flowers and cereal notes. The palate is extremely balanced with pepper and cinnamon playing off of the sweeter grain notes. The smoke is more rich body than intense fire. A long and earthy finish is sweetened by a maple syrup and caramel note that leaves a very pleasant aftertaste. With Japanese whisky being so hard to get these days, you have to get while the gettin’ is good.

Gary Westby | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: June 27, 2019

This expertly crafted single malt has extraordinary balance for a peaty style and a refreshing salty lightness that makes me come back for more. I love that this has the smoke and complexity of peat, but doesn’t get bogged down with oily heaviness. To the contrary, this is a refreshing whisky that is fantastic to enjoy after a big meal!

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