Hibiki (whisky)

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Hibiki Japanese Harmony (700ml) and Hibiki 17 years old (50ml)

Hibiki (meaning "resonance"[1] or "echo" in Japanese) is a premium blended whisky produced in Japan by Beam Suntory (a subsidiary of Suntory Beverage & Food Ltd, which itself is a subsidiary of Suntory Holdings of Osaka, Japan).[2][3] It is a premium-category product, and has won several awards.[4]

For producing the blends available as of 2010, more than 30 whiskies were used in the mix, including some that were aged more than 30 years and some that were aged in old umeshu casks.[5] A bamboo charcoal filtering step has also been used. The company said the process "Gives it a very sweet and gentle flavor".[5] In 2015, it was reported that at least 10 malt and grain whiskies were used from three distilleries (Yamazaki, Hakushu, and Chita[6]), aged in five different cask types, with some elements aged up to approximately 20 years or longer.[7][8] Three brand expressions are currently available as of October 2017.[2][9]

History and brand expressions[edit]

The brand was introduced in 1989 by Suntory, originally with expressions having age statements of 17 and 21 years.[7] (In the convention for whisky age statements, the age stated is the age of the youngest whisky in the blend.) A 30-year expression was introduced in 1997, and a 12-year expression was introduced in 2009.[7]

In 2014, the brand was moved into an American-headquartered subsidiary called Beam Suntory when the subsidiary was created following the company's purchase of Beam Inc.[10][11]

A new expression called "Japanese Harmony", with no age statement, was introduced in 2015. The new blend was said to use the same malt and grain whiskies used in the first Hibiki blend, being a blend of at least 10 malt and grain whiskies from three distilleries, aged in five different cask types, with some elements aged up to approximately 20 years.[7][8]

As of October 2017, the brand is available in three variations (and the blends with age statements of 12 and 30 years are no longer listed on the company website):[2]

  • Hibiki 17 and 21 years old
  • Hibiki Japanese Harmony (no age statement)

References[edit]

  1. ^ sibiki Swift, Rocky; Horie, Masatsugu (March 22, 2009). "Whiskey War: Japan's Hibiki Vies Scotch Brands for Sales, Awards". Bloomberg News. Retrieved May 2, 2012.
  2. ^ a b c Hibiki products page, Suntory company website. Accessed October 7, 2017.
  3. ^ "The Extraordinary Art of Japanese Whisky". City A.M. May 1, 2012. Retrieved May 2, 2012.
  4. ^ "Hibiki 21 Wins World's Best Blended Whisky award". Whisky Magazine. Retrieved May 10, 2013.
  5. ^ a b Locke, Michelle (August 9, 2010). "Consumers pushing beyond sake to Japanese whiskies". Bloomberg Businessweek. Associated Press. Archived from the original on September 9, 2015. Retrieved May 2, 2012.
  6. ^ "Suntory Hibiki Harmony". The Whisky Exchange. Retrieved October 7, 2017.
  7. ^ a b c d "Hibiki Japanese Harmony Blended Whisky". Beverage Dynamics. August 11, 2015. Retrieved October 7, 2017.
  8. ^ a b Bettridge, Jack (December 31, 2015). "A Year of Surprises". Wine Spectator.
  9. ^ "hibiki 21". Sunday, 3 June 2018
  10. ^ "Suntory Holdings Completes Acquisition of Beam Inc. (press release)". Suntory official website. April 30, 2014. Retrieved October 7, 2017.
  11. ^ Pfanner, Eric (May 15, 2014). "Suntory Still has M&A Thirst". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved March 1, 2016. (Subscription required (help)).