The House of Suntory, the Founding House of Japanese Whisky, has announced the release of Hibiki® Blossom Harmony™, a limited-edition blend made with whiskies finished in Sakura (cherry blossom) casks, an innovation that pays tribute to a traditional Japanese moment of celebration.
The Sakura Blossom season in early spring has always been an occasion for celebration in Japan, with many gathering around the beautiful flowering Sakura trees that inspire the Japanese to appreciate life as it blooms.
The Hibiki Blossom Harmony blend captures this joyful spirit by blending a rare selection of whiskies finished in Sakura wood casks with diverse matured malt and grain whiskies to create this particular Hibiki.
Inspired by Sakura
Hibiki is a harmonious blend of various malt and grain whiskies from Suntory’s Yamazaki, Hakushu and Chita distilleries. Constantly pushing the boundaries of what Japanese Whisky can be, the House of Suntory continues to explore and experiment with various wood types. The Sakura cask intrigued Fifth Generation Chief Blender Shinji Fukuyo.
He said, “I have been mesmerised by the Sakura cask for the last five years now due to its symbolism, but also because of its distinctive, subtly floral and spicy aroma and flavour notes.”
“There have been many experiments with malt and grain whisky components, and we found special alchemy between the grain whiskies and the Sakura cask. This special relationship – harmony – inspired me to create this blend.”
Achieving the right balance and orchestration proved to be a great challenge from the start since the Sakura cask is one with strong character that can easily become overbearing. After trial and error, Fukuyo found that the grain whiskies finished in the Sakura cask best elevated the overall balance, and the result is a particularly distinctive expression of Hibiki.
It begins with an enticing floral bouquet, followed by the signature Hibiki depth and complexity of honey, candied orange peel, jasmine and chocolatey decadence. The finish features surprising, bittersweet spicy notes.
Revealing a different kind of Harmony
Meaning “Resonance” in Japanese, Hibiki embodies the Suntory philosophy To Create Harmony with People and Nature. As a House of Master Blenders, the House of Suntory has gone to great lengths to explore the breadth and depth of what Harmony can mean for a blend. Hibiki Blossom Harmony celebrates a particular kind of Harmony.
“As a limited edition, I wanted our Hibiki aficionados to enjoy a Hibiki they had never experienced before – something unexpected, something surprising,” says Fukuyo. “This is a Hibiki that celebrates a particular moment in your life, a harmony that blossoms. It would mean so much to me if you could enjoy it with someone special, someone who makes you blossom.”
Tasting Notes: Hibiki Blossom Harmony – 43% ABV
- Colour: Amber
- To the Nose: Wafting floral scents, sakura, fragrant olive
- On the Palate: Smooth mouthfeel, expanding fragrance, acacia honey, French pear and a refined sweetness suggestive of sakura mochi
- Finish: Long-lasting, rich and brilliant aftertaste
This limited-edition bottle will be available from the 18th of October with a suggested RRP of £175 and will be available at Master of Malt, The Whisky Exchange, Amathus, Milroys and Soho Wines. The expression is bottled at 43 per cent ABV.
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