In a nutshell: A quite complex, subtly smoky and herbaceous Japanese Single Malt.
The lowdown: Hakushu Distiller's Reserve is made up of a range of the distillery's single malts of varying ages and differing degrees of peatedness. It has an attractive nose with a blast of herbs, toasted barley, chopped almond, mocha and a touch of honey sweetness. Rich and smooth on the palate with some peppermint notes developing alongside a touch of citrus and grassiness. It all leads up to a long, dry finish with a hint of smoke as it slowly fades away.
Suntory's Hakushu distillery was built in 1973 and is located on the slopes of Mount Kaikomagatake in the Japanese Southern Alps about 40 miles west of Tokyo. In its lush green wooded setting it's a particularly picturesque place. In 1981 a further distilling facility was built and is referred to as Hakashu East (the orginal now being known as 'West') and from here are produced a variety of whiskies using the numerous stills in operation. There is also a shop, museum and visitor centre to cater for the growing tourist interest.