Compared to the centuries-old practices of its global counterparts, Japanese whisky is the young man in the room. However, over the past 100 years, its distilleries have honed their crafts to perfection. And today, what was formerly a well-guarded secret among enthusiasts has now entered contention as the best in the world thanks to brands such as Yamazaki and Hibiki.
As one of the faces of Japanese whisky, as well as arguably its most recognizable label, Hibiki has made its most coveted expression available for the U.S. consumer. Introduced in 1997, the brand’s 30-year-old whisky has been the stuff of legend, amassing its fair share of awards, as well as a hefty price tag on the secondary market. And while the suggested retail price is still objectively high (we’re talking around $5,000), the new availability should yield a more “reasonable” accessibility.
The brand’s 21-year whisky has been its oldest available age statement since the 30-year was taken off Hibiki’s website 5 years ago. The revived expression is a hand-selected blend of Yamazaki malt whiskies that are at least 30 years old, providing a flavor profile of brown sugar, dried fig, cedar, and gingerbread.
Hibiki 30 comes alongside the second limited release of the distillery’s beloved Blossom Harmony, which has been finished in sakura casks. It retails at $160. Look out for both bottles at select retailers this month.