Sakura casks bring subtly floral and spicy notes to this new Japanese blended whisky

Suntory – a blended whisky finished in Sakura (cherry blossom) casks

HIBIKI BLOSSOM HARMONY – 43% ABV; @House of Suntory

The House of Suntory, the founding House of Japanese Whisky, announces the release of Hibiki Blossom Harmony, a limited-edition blend featuring whiskies finished in Sakura casks and for the first time Hibiki 30 Year Old will be available in the U.S.

Hibiki Blossom Harmony

Sakura Blossom season in early spring has always been an occasion for celebration in Japan, with many gathering around the beautiful flowering Sakura trees that inspire the Japanese to appreciate life as it blooms. Hibiki Blossom Harmony captures this joyful spirit by blending a rare selection of whiskies finished in Sakura wood casks with diverse matured malt and grain whiskies to create this particular Hibiki.

This limited-edition bottle will be available beginning in October in select global markets including in the United States, the United Kingdom, Australia, Germany, France, Spain, Austria, United Arab Emirates, Netherlands, Italy, Turkey, China, Hong Kong, Singapore, Taiwan, South Korea, Thailand and Vietnam. The expression is bottled at 43 percent ABV and has a suggested retail price of $160 USD.

Inspired by Sakura

Hibiki is a harmonious blend of various malt and grain whiskies from Suntory’s Yamazaki, Hakushu and Chita distilleries. Constantly pushing the boundaries of what Japanese Whisky can be, the House of Suntory continues to explore and experiment with various wood types. The Sakura cask was one that intrigued Fifth Generation Chief Blender Shinji Fukuyo.

“I have been mesmerized by the Sakura cask for the last five years now due to its symbolism, but also because of its distinctive, subtly floral and spicy aroma and flavor notes,” says Fukuyo. “There have been many experiments with malt and grain whisky components, and we found that there was a special alchemy between the grain whiskies and the Sakura cask. It is this special relationship – harmony – that inspired me to create this blend.”

Achieving the right balance and orchestration proved to be a great challenge from the start since the Sakura cask is one with strong character that can easily become overbearing. After a period of trial and error, Fukuyo found that the grain whiskies finished in the Sakura cask best elevated the overall balance.

Color: Amber
Nose: Wafting floral scents, sakura, fragrant olive
Palate: Smooth mouthfeel, expanding fragrance, acacia honey, French pear and a refined sweetness suggestive of sakura mochi
Finish: Long-lasting rich and brilliant aftertaste

Meaning “Resonance” in Japanese, Hibiki embodies the Suntory philosophy To Create Harmony with People and Nature. As a House of Master Blenders, the House of Suntory has gone to great lengths to explore the breadth and depth of what Harmony can mean for a blend. Hibiki 30 Year Old and Hibiki Blossom Harmony celebrate this particular kind of Harmony.

Hibiki 30 Year Old in the U.S.

Released in 1997 as a rare, limited edition, Hibiki 30 Year Old represents the paragon of the Hibiki brand and the art of Japanese craftsmanship. For the first time, this exquisite bottle will be available in the U.S. as of October for a suggested retail price of $5,000.

Hibiki 30 features a select blend of Yamazaki® malt whiskies that are 30 years and older from Suntory’s treasured historic collection, with mild grain whiskies that have also matured at least 30 years. With a mere few thousand bottles produced each year, each is bottled by hand. This luxurious liquor has received accolades and awards from whisky connoisseurs around the world and it represents the pinnacle of whisky making at Suntory.

Color: Deep amber.
Nose: Leather, raisin, prune, sweet chestnut.
Palate: Brown sugar, dried fig, apricot jam, cedar and pain d’epices (gingerbread).
Finish: Extremely rich, cinnamon and Mizunara (Japanese Oak).

HIBIKI 30 YEAR OLD – 43% ABV; @House of Suntory