My family likes food. Probably the understatement of the century!
I mean food is a real part of our culture. Food and hospitality. It is ingrained in our DNA. We can't help it.
You land at my house, I am offering you a drink, sweets and a sincere demand you stay for dinner. It's a Middle Eastern thing. Well, more than a Middle Eastern cultural phenomenon. My extended family is drawn from many different cultures stretching from Canada, through the Middle East, Srilanka and all the way to Japan. So, when I landed at HD's casa, dinnertime appetizers looked like this:
kibbeh nayyeh. Can't see it that well, ok, here's more food porn:
In any event, HD's plan was for all of us to enjoy a splendid meal and then finish the evening with a special treat: Hibiki 21 years Suntory Whisky
Stag's Leap, we were stuffed. Couldn't do the Hibiki. She had to wait for another evening.
. . .
We finally tackled the Hibiki on another day, and this is what I came up with for a tasting note:
Concentrated notes of citrus, orange, coriander and malt. Very floral, immaculate, the epitome of sophistication. You just know the master blender spent just as much time trying to achieve these great scents as he did with the flavor profile.
Powerful beams of orange, tangerine, oak and sandalwood pour upon the palate. Almonds, herbal like and stupefyingly beautiful oak notes abound too.
Gorgeously rounded body that gracefully moves across the palate like Maria Sharapova on the courts of Wimbledon.
Cappuccino, pistachio ice cream, old leather, all hosted by a delicate malt/oak embrace that is truly an affair to remember.
Simply fantastic whisky! World class and fitting to be found only in the finest bars. A whisky that can hold its own in the company of the best single malts of Scotland.
While this Japanese whisky is technically a blend, do not for a second think that such a fact of production is indicative of lesser quality.
I am convinced that in a blind tasting this whisky would easily be regarded as a single malt from Speyside which exhibits classic honey, sandalwood and oak profile.
. . .
Any Peat or Smoke?
I cannot criticize this whisky because I truly enjoy the honey/oak/nut flavor profile. However, if you are seeking a lot of smoke and peat, then Hibiki 21 is not the answer. Smoke is present but balanced and restrained. The whisky has very little, if any, detectable peat.
Accordingly HD, being an enthusiastic peat and smoke fan, was more anxious for me to try his bottle of Springbank 15, but I will save that review for another post.
P.S. Thanks cousin for the great visit to NYC, the fine dining and whisky tastings!
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