I came to this one with high expectations. Hakushu 12 was a big hit with me, so I thought this one might tickle the tastebuds too. The nose was quite pronounced: sweet, slightly floral, unbaked bread dough. In the mouth, it had none of the light playfulness that so appealed to me in the Hakushu 12: a thin sweetness like honey diluted in water at first but then more robust flavours take over: toffee, liquorice chew stick. Not a bad whisky, but not a favourite.
Reviews by others
Although this is currently the most widely marketed of the Hakushus in Japan, I can find little information on it on the English or Japanese webs.
There is one review on the Maltmaniacs.org website by Ho-cheng Yao, who gave a 86/100 ("highly recommendable") rating on a 2005 bottling.
On the Whisky Magazine forum one well established contributor, "Jan", posted this write-up in November 2004: "Nose: menthol, vanilla, and butter. Taste: The butter flavor really leads the way. It was surprising, as I had never detected this flavor so strongly in a whisky before. This was combined with menthol, linseed oil, and a hint of vanilla. It was very smooth. I think this is a well balanced whisky, and I'll be adding it to my rotation. It kind of reminded me of Green Spot, but with a much fuller body. I don't really like to give points, but i would rank this quite high."Suntory themselves describe Hakushu 10 on their Japanese website as being fruity, smokey, creamy and refreshing, which just about covers all the the possible preferences of potential customers.
40 per cent
Price (April 2007)
700 ml - 4,200 yen