Hakushu 12 Year Old is one of the top selling bottles of whisky produced by Suntory. If you like the peated flavour of Scottish single malt whiskies, then Hakushu will blow your away! The Hakushu line stands among other top selling Suntory products including favorites such as the Yamazaki and Hibiki. Hakushu distillery is located in an area surrounded by forests at the foot of the Southern Japan Alps. It’s noted for producing the most heavily peated of Japanese whiskies. The flavour is most closely compared to Highlands Scotch, only with a closer attention to detail that only comes from the meticulous pursuit of perfection by Japanese distillers.
The Hakushu 12 Year Old makes a great introduction to whisky produced by the distillery, with the lowest price among Hakushu releases. Higher end offerings include Hakushu 18 Year Old and Hakushu 25 Year Old.
The Hakushu 12 Year Old Japanese Single Malt Whisky is made exclusively from malted barley, which is milled and mashed with water sourced from the Ojira River and Jingu Rivers (the water has a unique softness and purity, made possible by its filtration through the granite rocks of the Japanese Alps). Once the grains have been mashed, they are fermented by a unique strain of yeast (Hakushu Distillery has thousands of unique strains in its arsenal) in wooden washbacks. Despite the additional cost and labor required, wooden washbacks as compared to stainless steel washbacks take advantage of the distillery’s unique location by incorporating naturally occurring lactic acid bacteria and other microorganisms into the wash.
Following fermentation, the wash is distilled twice through Hakushu’s copper-pot stills before the whisky is laid to rest in the distillery’s warehouses. Once the whisky has aged for a minimum of twelve years, it is brought to proof with pure Japanese spring water. As a result of the whisky’s slumber in Japan’s deep forests, Hakushu 12 Year Old Japanese Single Malt Whisky has an herbal aroma, with hints of apples, pears and almonds. The palate has notes of pears, butter cookies and dark plums that are complemented by a subtle, smoky undertone. The finish is soft and pleasant, with a dry, lingering touch.
Hakushu 12 Year Old Awards
Although some might say it does not compare to its older siblings the 18 and 25 year old it is none the less smashing stuff, being named the best Japanese Single Malt 12 Years and younger for a reason!
- Best Japanese Single Malt Whisky 12 Years and Under (World Whiskies Awards, 2018)
- Gold Award (International Spirit Challenge, 2012)
- Gold Medal and “Best In Class” (International Wine and Spirits Competition)
- Double Gold Medal (San Fransisco World Spirits Competition, 2011, 2013, 2016)