Hakushu 18, 43.5%

I have had this bottle in my collection for about 4 years, I think. Therefore, and since it was dwindling not too fast at the end I thought it time to empty it. Part three of this week’s empty-bottle-project.

Not much to say about the bottling, but the distillery is massive. Automatically rotating cask machines that transport the casks through the warehouse so they all mature in a similar way and the upper and lower levels don’t differ too much. I believe their warehouses are supposed to hold half a million casks.

Hakushu 18 at The Whisky Exchange

Hakushu 18 at The Whisky Exchange

Sandalwood at first, with a good dollop of sherry. Not too thick or too dry but very well balanced between fruit, wood, dryness and malt. Based on scent I’d say there are some mizunara casks in there too, hence the sandalwood. Not sure though. I get fresh orange wedges, coffee, cocoa and cinnamon.

Lots of wood again, as well as fruit. Dried tropical fruits and fresh citrus fruits. A great combination. Quite meaty too, with a hint of chili peppers while still being friendly on the palate.

The finish has a sudden boost of the sandalwood notes, before that evaporates and leaves a regular more oaky note. Some malt, and cocoa notes before it fades. That doesn’t take too long, but the way.

It doesn’t happen that often that I really, really like a whisky below 46% but this one handles it very well. The balance between the flavours is stunning without it getting too boring or level. My guess is this is a mix of American oak, European oak (definetly) and some Mizunara oak.

The only drawback of this stuff is that it is getting more expensive rapidly. I bought my bottle at € 85 at a not too cheap shop, now I see it at € 125 at the normally somewhat cheaper stores. The same happened with Yamazaki 18 of course, and in both cases it is still a great buy.

Hakushu 18, OB, 43.5%, available at The Whisky Exchange at £ 105.


About Sjoerd de Haan-Kramer

I'm a web developer at Emakina. I'm highly interested in booze, with a focus on whisk(e)y. I like to listen to loads of music and read quite some books. I'm married to Anneke, have a daughter Ot, a son Moos and a cat called Kikker (which means Frog, in Dutch). I live in Krommenie, The Netherlands.
This entry was posted in - Japanese Whisky, Hakushu and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Hakushu 18, 43.5%

  1. Gal Granov says:

    Never tried that 18yo, but liked the 12 and the Heavily peated one. so that sounds lovely too.
    and yeah, prices of Jap whiskies are going up like crazy (like other whisklies too).

  2. duesseltaler says:

    I really like the stuff from Japan !

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