Hakushu 12-Year-Old: Japanese Whisky Extraordinaire

An evening spent drinking fine sake is a pleasure, but if you want to end it on something with a kick, try Suntory’s exciting new Hakushu 12-year-old Single Malt Whisky ($60). Its smoky aroma belies its crisp, breezy taste, from the energizing bite at the front to the raisin and plum finish.  

Part of the attraction, of course, is sampling a single malt that’s not from Scotland. You can’t help but wonder if Japanese distillers are able to pull off that rare feat of balancing the flavors and aging it to the point of maximum smoothness. But the Hakushu distillery has a lot going for it. Located in the dense forests of Mt. Kaikomagatake in the Japanese Southern Alps, it’s one of the highest in the world, with access to abundant soft, pure water that starts off as rain and snow before being filtered through thousand-year-old granite rocks. 

But whatever the secret, this Japanese whisky is delicious, making it a perfect complement to the Scotches on your shelf. Suntory time indeed. 

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