London, May 14, 2009 – Suntory will release the latest expression of its much-honoured Hibiki brand when the Hibiki 12 Year old premium blended whisky has its world premier launch in London on May 14.
The Hibiki premium blended range has gathered 15 gold medals and trophies in less than five years, including the title of The World’s Best Blended Whisky for the 30 YO Hibiki not once, but twice, in 2007 and 2008.
The introduction of Hibiki 12 year old adds to the line up of Hibiki expressions by offering whisky connoisseurs what promises to be a new favourite in the very popular 12 year old category.
London was chosen as the stage for the world launch due to the growing interest and demand for Suntory premium whiskies in the UK and to further support the Hibiki brand positioning on the world stage, by introducing it to whisky connoisseurs in an international capital.
Aged in Japanese plum liqueur ‘Umeshu’ casks, Hibiki 12 year old is sweet to the taste and has a velvety texture and fruity aromas unlike any other premium blended whisky. Blended from a variety of malt and grain whiskies, Hibiki 12 year old is filtered through bamboo charcoal to deliver a spirit that is silky smooth on the palate.
In the Hibiki roll of honour, the Hibiki 17 YO has won two gold medals, the 21 YO four gold medals and the Hibiki 30 year old two golds and four trophies plus its two titles in 2007 and 2008 of Best Blended Whisky in the World. These awards simply emphasise the quality behind the Hibiki 12 year old.
Seiichi Koshimizu, Suntory’s chief blender and the first Japanese representative to be appointed a judge at the International Spirits Challenge, says: “Our goal was to create a uniquely Japanese whisky that is mellower and smoother than any other premium 12 year old whisky in the world.”
He adds: “Hibiki is a niche brand and we understand that not many people can afford to buy such premium whiskies. By adding Hibiki 12 year-old to the range we seek to make
the brand more affordable to whisky enthusiasts and to increase awareness of the marvellous flavours of Japanese whisky”.
Bottled at 43% ABV, Hibiki 12 year old tasting notes describe the amber to gold coloured whisky has having a nose of plums, raspberries, pineapple, honey and vanilla.
The palate is long and smooth with a long, clean, sweet and spicy finish.
Tomoo Akaike, Suntory Business Development Director, says: “The role call of honour speaks of the great quality of this amazing whisky. It is going to appeal to whisky lovers who appreciate the care and attention that go into creating a new expression. We anticipate great interest in Hibiki 12 YO among whisky specialists.”
The presentation in an elegant 24 facet decanter recalling the original 24 seasons in the Japanese year, finished with a traditional ‘Echizen Washi’ label
Hibiki 12 year old will be priced at between £39.99 and £42.99 a bottle and will be available from whisky specialist retailers across the UK.
The Hibiki Premium Blended Range is distributed in the UK by Cellar Trends . For sales enquiries contact: 01283 217703 www.cellartrends.co.uk.
The photograph of the Hibiki 12 YO may be reproduced. Please contact V O I C E PR and for other photographs of the Hibiki range.
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