Whisky Comparison: Hibiki Japanese Harmony vs Nikka Coffey Grain
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I am slowly learning more and more about Japanese whisky. In this episode I taste two big sellers. One is a blend and the other a corn whisky. And yes, I fought the urge to say "It's Suntory time!"
I talk a bit about the word "Coffey" and dispel the idea that there are any coffee beans in that whisky. I also talk about the rules or lack thereof of Japanese whisky.
HIBIKI JAPANESE HARMONY (BEAM SUNTORY)
43% ABV (caramel coloring added) - A blend that comes from two malts (Yamazaki and Hakushu) and a grain whisky from Chita. This is a blend created by Torri Shingo. On the nose I initially got clove, raisin, and dark chocolate - then a cinnamon sticky bun hit me in the nose. Palate has some orange rind but hits with a lot of fruit. The finish is peppery but still fruity.
NIKKA COFFEY GRAIN
45% ABV (caramel coloring added) - a grain whisky that features 95% corn and 5% malted barley. I've heard this is aged 8-12 years. Is it worth $80 for a similar mash bill to a $15 bottle of 4 year old Mellow Corn from Heaven Hill? I discuss. Produced in the Miyagikyo. Nose is floral with nutty oak. Palate brings canned peaches and a very interesting flavor I've never tasted anywhere else. Orange rind and barrel char on the finish.
And what is that Japanese note?