Last week, the Yamazaki 25 years. This week, the new 25-year-old from Suntory`s other distillery, Hakushu. These are the top of Suntory`s range and I have raised my eyebrows in print before about their price. At 100,000 yen (ie. about £400/$800) a bottle this sherry barrel aged number is certainly not for the average punter or even the moderately loaded one.
But what does it taste like? One reason Whisky Live is a must for any whisky fan is because you get a chance to taste whiskies like this without emptying the family food budget for the next two months. I tried Hakushu 25 at the February event just a few days after it was released and was very impressed despite my previously stated misgivings about the price. Apologies for the delay in reporting. I lost my notebook.
It smelled very understated - pine wood and roses - but in the mouth it was a different kettle of fish altogether. Not fish. Forget fish! Whereas the smell is noticeably understated, the taste is well rounded but powerful: marmalade, dark chocolate and berry fruits. It develops smoky influences and aniseed. Very warming.
Abv 43 per cent
Price (January 2008)
700 ml - 100,000 yen