Hibiki Japanese Harmony

Following from the successful launch of Suntory Whisky in 2014, Beam Suntory have released Hibiki Japanese Harmony, the latest member of the Hibiki family.

Photography © by Kevin Burke for Gourmantic – Copyright: All rights reserved.

Speaking at the launch event, Mike Miyamoto, Suntory Global Brand Ambassador gave a brief history of the birth of Japanese whisky at Yamazaki distillery in 1923 spanning three generations of master blenders.

Hibiki (which means harmony) was created in 1989 to commemorate Suntory’s 90th anniversary as a tribute to the philosophy “to live in harmony with people and nature”. Hibiki Harmony joins the Hibiki family which comes in 4 aged expressions: Hibiki 12 year old real, the 17 year old, the 21 year old, and the rare 30 year old.

Hibiki Harmony is a blend of more than 12 malt and grain whiskies with five key styles of whisky, each contributing to the overall flavour profile.

Chita Grain Whisky provides a pure and clean taste with grain aromas. American White Oak Cask Malt Whisky contributes to the malty sweetness with fresh fruit and floral aromas. The Sherry Cask Malt Whisky is rich in fruit, raisins, sweetness, dark chocolate and tannins. Mizunara Cask Whisky (Japanese oak) adds complexity with a sweet and distinctive wood aroma, hints of spice and cinnamon with vanilla, while the Smoky Malt Whisky offers strong and dry smoke.

The part deconstructed tasting consisted of three of the major components (Chita Grain, Sherry and Mizunara) before sampling the finished whisky. The sherry and mizunara whiskies, both at 50% ABV were good enough to warrant their own release with minor refinements.

Mike Miyamoto explained that in the art of the blend, Hibiki uses the American White Oak Cask Malt Whisky as the base of Hibiki with Sherry and Mizunara malts as dressing, the Smoky Malt as “hidden player” with the Chita Grain Whisky completing the harmony of flavours.

Hibiki Japanese Harmony Tasting Notes

Hibiki Japanese Harmony is a No Age Statement whisky that is bottled at 43% ABV.

Pale straw to amber in colour, it has floral aromas with honey, lychee and woody notes. The palate starts fruity with honey sweetness, melon and pears then progresses onto white chocolate and rosemary. The finish is medium in length and lingers with sweet notes of chocolate with traces of orange peel and subtle oak.

Overall, Hibiki Japanese Harmony is delicate and bright, and pleasant to sip either neat, on the rocks, with an ice sphere, or in a highball. The flavour profile is not as intense as Hibiki 12 yo and it lends itself well to mixability in cocktails.

Hibiki Japanese Harmony pays tribute to the original Hibiki blend and comes in the classic 24-faceted glass bottle symbolizing the 24 seasons of the old Japanese lunar calendar. The RRP is $95 AUD.

Consumers can get involved at the House of Suntory Exclusive Takeover pop ups with a specially designed three and six course menu paired with Japanese whisky, bespoke Suntory whisky cocktails and izakaya style bar food. The pop ups will take place at Hihou in Melbourne in July and Sydney’s Tokyo Bird in August.


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About the author

Corinne Mossati

Corinne Mossati is the Founder/Editor of popular online magazine Gourmantic and Cocktails & Bars, a website dedicated to cocktail culture and the discerning drinker. She is named in Australian Bartender Magazine’s Top 100 Most Influential List since 2013, is a member of The Academy responsible for judging the World’s 50 Best Bars. She has also judged the inaugural Australasian Whisky Awards and various national cocktail competitions.