Hakushu 18

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First review of 2016! Let’s get… completely and utterly calm and review a World Whisky!

Okay, so Japanese Whisky and I haven’t always gotten along. And it’s not for either of us not trying. I try it. And it screams as I drink it.

Wait, no, that’s the start to my new novel, “The Drinks are coming Alive and you’re Ripping them Apart with your Mouth”. Find it in the children’s section of your local torture dungeon.

In all seriousness, I’ve had a mixed bag with Japanese whiskies, and by now, after having a good handful, I think I can say with some confidence that I have no idea what’s coming.

And that brings us to Hakushu 18. From what I know of Hakushu, they make whiskies that I’ve drank before. That… inebriated me slightly. That tasted of things other than water. That was, in fact, brown.

What I’m saying is, simply, that they made a whisky, or a few of them, that I didn’t hate. That I wasn’t insane about, but didn’t cause me to become insane and eat people’s faces.

It’s a good medium. A Toyota Corolla, as others have put it. Perhaps even one of those organs we don’t use anymore, but doesn’t explode.

So that’s where I’m at with Hakushu. However I’ve only had some of the entry malts and a SMWS sample, so I can’t really paint them with that brush too much. I could be wrong, I accept that I may be really wrong.

So let’s see how this one tastes, shall we?

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Price: N/A at the LCBO

Region: Japan

Abv: 43%

Colour: 2.5Y 8/8

Nose: Cereal, honey, grappa, white grape, leather, tonic water, almond

Lighter notes to this one. Has a lot of notes of a younger spirit, or not even a whisky. More like Grappa.

Not in that “This is actually poison” way that Grappa has, more so grape and raw, dry, it’ll-taste-bitter-but-I-don’t-know-the-name-of-the-associated-smell kinda way.

Taste: Smoke, grape, raisin, cream, mint, anise

Less grappa notes here. You can calm down.

Good mouth feel, out of everything. It’s really, really thick. Not /r/thick (NSFW), but thick enough. I like the herbal elements.

Finish: Pepper, butter, club soda, herbal, cereal

Clean finish on this one. Starts out like a whisky, then turns into a Gin & Tonic, then back to a whisky. Kinda odd.

I don’t hate it, even though I’m usually not the biggest fan of minerals and what not.

Conclusion: This is like if you took a Toyota Corolla and upgraded it. Or rather, as other better people than I have said, a Toyota Camry. Doesn’t do anything wrong, works well, and tastes nice (I guess).

Nothing crazy. Value doesn’t come into my scores (or at least I try to leave it out), so it’s solid for what it is. I think it could be better, maybe at a higher Abv. Oh well, take it for what you want.

80/100

World Whisky review #125, Japan review #28, Whisky Network review #614

1001 Whiskies to taste before you die review #267

101 Whiskies to try before you die review #63

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