Hakushu built in 1973 in Yamanashi Prefecture was the second Suntory malt whisky distillery.
In 1981 the sister distillery, Hakushu Higashi, was constructed making it the biggest malt distillery in the world with combined distilling capacity of 30 million liters of spirit per annum. In the 1990s due to overproduction the distillery reduced the number of stills from 36 to 11 and consequently the capacity to 4 million liters. Hakushu 18 years old was launched in March 2006 and immediately scored gold medal at the International Wine & Spirits Competition. It is a vatting of ex-bourbon and first and second fill ex-sherry casks.
Nose: fresh and slightly floral, pears, apples, grapes, vanilla, white coffee, forest floor, hints of mint and oregano and distant whiff of smoke.
Palate: smooth, cooked apples and pears, mango, quince jelly, vanilla, milk chocolate, candied ginger, cinnamon and subtle oakiness.
Finish: fairly long, fruity and oaky, with hints of cinnamon and peat.