Hibiki whisky was launched in 1989, in order to commemorate Suntory’s 90th anniversary. The Hibiki line is not only Japan’s most highly awarded blended whisky, but it has been recognised internationally numerous times with countless awards and stands tall as a proud bastion of Japanese whisky-making prowess.
Rather beautifully, ‘hibiki’ means resonance in Japanese, and this speaks to the artistic sensibility of the product. Hibiki was born in the form of a blend that was the result of sampling and tasting aged malt whiskies from one million casks at Suntory. The current incarnations are made from a blend of more than 30 individual malt and mellow grain whiskies, and the final blend is topped off with a whisky aged more than 30 years. This concludes a process that sees the master blender taste over 300 malt whisky samples a day. From its inception to its current forms, Hibiki’s craft and method reflects its core ideologies of harmony and resonance with a caring and precise vision.
The Hibiki ideals are not forgotten when it comes to presentation, much like the careful blending process, each element is assembled to reflect Japanese culture, and to convey Japanese tradition. Each aspect has the unmistakable character of Japanese aesthetic, such as the painstakingly handcrafted Echizen paper label, the careful calligraphy or the packaging, with 24 facets to represent the ancient Japanese lunar calendar. Even the presence of purple is deliberate, for it’s regarded as Japan’s most noble color, and so a purple ribbon encircles the neck of each elegant decanter bottle accordingly.
Having mapped its own identity within the Suntory name, Hibiki has gone from strength to strength as a brand. Heck, it was actually featured in a fake commercial in the film Lost In Translation (2003), in which the quite brilliant Bill Murray stars. But then you knew that already, didn’t you?
A respectful, distinctive and superbly individual array of Japanese blended whiskies await you dear reader. You’ll know by now the name Japanese whisky is carving for itself within the international scene, now it’s your turn to become the latest convert. I can’t think of a better place to start than Hibiki.