Suntory Hakushu 12 Year Old Japanese Peated Single Malt Whisky (750ml)

SKU #1080132 Whisky Advocate

Outer quote mark Fragrant and herbal aromas, with pine needles, basil, green bell pepper, pea pod, black truffle, peppercorn, and smoke from smoldering dry mosses and wood shavings. It’s very smooth and refreshing, with pear, peppermint, lemon, lime, green tea, kiwi, and herbal notes, finishing with chopped mint, more herbal layers, and gentle peppery spice. A unique composition and a quintessential Japanese whisky experience. (JM, Summer-2023) Inner quote mark

K&L Notes

Suntory's Hakushu, known as the "forest distillery," was built in 1973 as a sister distillery to Suntory's Yamazaki (previously the only Japanese single malt available in the United States). The facility is located at a high-elevation site next to the pristine waters of the Ojira River, which are used to dilute the whisky itself. Hakushu distillery uses different styles of oak barrel to age their single malt, but mainly hogshead, which, according to the distillery is, "suitable to the clear air and cool humid climate." The 12-year old from Hakushu is lightly peated and very delicate in its flavor profile. The light and fruity style of the whisky is quite similar to the Yamazaki 12, but the smoke really makes up for any lack of richness. We've seen insane price increases over the last five years on Japanese whisky and inventory getting tighter and tighter, but for a limited time, we have Hakushu 12 in stock and available to sell, and at a fraction of the price you'll see at many other retailers across the country.


Price: $189.99

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Product Reviews:

By: Michael Pires | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 4/21/2023 | Send Email
The Suntory Hakushu 12 generously shares sweet notes of grain with hints of peat, white flowers, and a soothing minty coolness in the finish. This is well made, quality whisky that is smooth and very enjoyable. A must try for any fan of Suntory!

By: Jeffrey Jones | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 4/21/2023 | Send Email
This single malt is delicate, clean and very pretty. Exactly what one would expect from a quality Japanese single malt. It is very drinkable and should please many people. There is a long mouth coating finish.

By: Neal Fischer | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 4/5/2023 | Send Email
The nose begins grassy and floral. Light smoke emerges and builds, though it never overshoots past the malt's elegance. Over time, notes emerge of honey, nuttiness, toasted marshmallow, and grilled cedar planks. The peat is more prominent on the palate, yet it remains restrained: still-smoldering embers, burnt rocks, and firepit ash. Yellow orchard fruits appear with a bigger floral component along with a mixture of vanilla tones. It all keeps coming back to those low, slow, smoky notes though - it's never aggressive, but it never lets go either. A beautiful slow-burner single malt.

By: David Othenin-Girard | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 4/5/2023 | Send Email
Everybody is all over Yamazaki, but Hakushu is for me the real gem in the Suntory portfolio. While Yama takes all the glory, Hakushu quietly produces some of Japan's most delicious whisky. Some people look at our description and are worried that the "peat" will be too much. This is in fact a lightly peated product distilled on Hakushu's narrow necked stills. The resulting spirit is full of vibrant complexity and the peated is so perfectly integrate, few would pick it out as the main attraction. Instead expect a gorgeous nose of wet forest floor, candied stone fruit, citrus oils, clove oil, fresh herbs, jasmine flower, green tea, sweet malt and tobacco leaf. On the palate, the freshness and vibrancy is paramount offering sweet almost candied malty character tempered with a zesty citrus note and an oily texture. The peat pops up on the finish in a lovely balancing way. This is for me the better of the two Suntory flagship single malts and certainly the one I'd hand first to any expert or regular drinker of scotch who might be Suntory curious.

By: Andrew Whiteley | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 4/5/2023 | Send Email
Hakushu has always been my favorite of the Suntory malts. The sweet and elegant malt profile is rounded out beautifully by the gentle peat smoke giving the whisky more body and texture than its brothers. The "forest distillery" also produces a verdant whisky - it feels green and fresh, cool and earthy. Moist peat and cool mint gently hold up the bouquet of flowers and cereal notes. The palate is extremely balanced with pepper and cinnamon playing off of the sweeter grain notes. The smoke is more rich body than intense fire. A long and earthy finish is sweetened by a maple syrup and caramel note that leaves a very pleasant aftertaste. With Japanese whisky being so hard to get these days and the price ever increasing, you have to get while the gettin' is good.

By: Gary Westby | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 6/27/2019 | Send Email
This expertly crafted single malt has extraordinary balance for a peaty style and a refreshing salty lightness that makes me come back for more. I love that this has the smoke and complexity of peat, but doesn't get bogged down with oily heaviness. To the contrary, this is a refreshing Whisky that is fantastic to enjoy after a big meal!

By: David Driscoll | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 5/8/2017 | Send Email
Personally, I’ve always been surprised how much more popular the Yamazaki 12 is compared to its sibling the Hakushu 12. To me, the Yamazaki has always been a fine whiskey, but the more dynamic malt is easily the Hakushu, which as pretty much the same delicate and light-drinking flavor profile as the Yamazaki, but with just the faintest touch of smoke. It's so ethereal straight out of the glass, but I feel like it tastes even better with ice (I know that's tough for some people to handle). The subtle peat is like a ghost that moves slowly around every part of my palate, brushing it with hints of earth and phenolic goodness after coating it with sweet grains. With our new pricing, this is a can't miss deal. It's nice to have some real quantity again!

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