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The Hakushu Distiller’s Reserve Single Malt - Featured Whisky

Author: Matt Wooler - Tuesday, May 05, 2015

Feature whisky of The Hills Whisky Appreciation Course 2015

Suntory Hakushu Distiller's Reserve

Distiller: Hakushu Distillery, Suntory
Region: Island of Honshu, Southern Alps, Japan
ABV: 43%
Wood: Various

Tasting Notes


Dry wheat with a tint of green tea


Vibrant, crisp and mildly herbal with sweet creamy caramels, mint, green melons and forest leaves with an ever light puff of smoke in the breeze.


Rich caramel, green melon ripeness and fresh picked mint delivers a complex yet light balance. Some citrus zest appears and the taste very much has been defined by the nose.


Long and warming with a clear mint and zest prickle continuing as the smoke breeze returns ever so slightly.


The Hakushu Distiller’s Reserve is a no age statement otherwise know as a NAS. This whisky has been created to serve a rapidly expanding whisky market demanding Japanese whisky. The Hakushu Distiller’s Reserve displays many of the characteristic of its counterpart The Hakushu 12yo but at a younger age while not compromising on flavour and taste. We find the Distillers Reserve a much more versatile whisky that can easily be appreciated summer or winter, day or night. The Hakushu Distillery details the surrounding thick green forests (approximately six thousand varieties of plants), granite filtered ground water, coal fired stills, bamboo charcoal filtration, and carefully selected barrels as the defining elements that make this distilleries whiskies so different. Suntory aspires to deliver balance and harmony over everything else. Though this is a single malt, Suntory does not use just a single style barrel to achieve the profile. A vatting of several barrels styles and malt types is required for this marvelous flavour marriage.


The Suntory Hakushu Distillery is situated in what is called the Southern Alps. It is considered one of the highest distilleries in the world, rooted in foothills of Mount Kaikomagatake Yamanashi Prefecture, on the main island of Honshu Japan.

The Suntory Hakushu Distillery is relatively new. It was built in 1973 and saw expansion in 1981.

The Hakushu stills are coal fired which adds to the flavour of the whisky. As the brew is fired in the stills a caramelisation occurs on the inside of the still which can be defined as a burt toffee flavour.

The Hakushu Distiller’s Reserve uses both lightly peated and heavily peated malts from various barrel types and sizes. As all the whiskies vatted come from the same distillery this is still classified a Single Malt Whisky.

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