Hibiki Harmony Review

Hibiki Harmony Review

Hibiki Harmony is Suntory’s response to their whisky shortage. Made of the same combination of Yamazaki malt, Hakashu malt and Chita grain as Hibiki 12, the Hibiki Harmony is a no age statement (NAS), presumably younger, version of the famous blend and was pushed out to the market as stores of older whisky dwindled. The NAS trend is a tad annoying, but I get why distilleries are beginning to deliver releases like this.

As whisky consumption continues to rise the stocks of older whisky shrinks and as that happens the distilleries have a choice. They either keep the same statements that every one knows and loves and jack up the price or they release a NAS version that tries to copy the profile of its counterpart as best it can. I understand this is a function of supply and demand on a product that takes over a decade to create, but what I don’t like is when they charge the same price, or sometimes higher, for the NAS version as they did the age-stated one. The NAS replacements are rarely as good as what they replaced and it seems incredibly unfair to charge the same for a product that doesn’t deliver a sensory experience similar to what it replaced.

Hibiki Harmony Info

Region: Japan

Distiller: Suntory
Age: NAS
ABV: 43%

Price: $75

Hibiki Harmony Review

EYE
Straw

NOSE
It’s not a very complex aroma, but it is good. Fruity with notes of apricot, golden raisins, hay, toasted malt, a touch of cocoa and a bit of alcoholic sting.

PALATE
Like the nose it’s limited, but decent. Notes of apricot and golden raisins play here as well accompanied by notes of malt and a bit of spice.

FINISH
Medium in length and dotted with notes of malt, fruit and graham crackers.

BALANCE, BODY & FEEL
Good balance, medium body and a rounded mouthfeel.

OVERALL
Hibiki Harmony is nicely done, but tasting it next to the Hibiki 12 shows a none-too-subtle difference. The 12 is richer and more complex than the Harmony and has more to explore across the palate and nose than the Hibiki Harmony. All-in-all there’s nothing wrong with the Harmony, I’m just struggling to get a whole lot out of it which makes its high price difficult to manage.

SCORE: 85/100

Hibiki Harmony Review - Score Breakdown
  • Nose - 85
  • Palate - 85
  • Finish - 85
  • Balance, Body & Feel - 85

Summary

Hibiki Harmony is limited across the nose and palate and sits at about 2x the price it should.

Hibiki Harmony Label

Josh Peters
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Josh Peters

I read about, think about, write about, and drink whisk(e)y. In short, it's my passion.
Josh Peters
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2 Responses to Hibiki Harmony Review

  1. Spot on the NAS pricing scam. If the higher prices were justified by the distillers because of the longer aging time for older whiskies- loss of volume etc- there is ZERO. reason for a similar price for younger whiskey. The ONLY reason for the high prices is the increase in demand and they are pouncing . They make a profit at the risk of losing loyal brand followers who will not accept the rationale for very highly priced aged whiskies once the market corrects and the new customers have moved on to another hot item. Why would I go back to spending top dollar for an 18 yo whiskey that they admittedly say isn’t better, just older. Very annoying. I guess I am most upset because I bought the whole line of BS about how aged whiskey is superior, blah blah blah. What’s even more disingenuous is how the “old companies” deride the new craft distillers for selling young whiskey with “gimmicks” in small barrels to create an aged effect. ?!?!?! They are admitting age is not important , taste is !!!!! THE EMPEROR HIMSELF IS SAYING HE HAS NO CLOTHES!!!!!

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