While it may seem that our world is suddenly awash in Japanese single malts, the fact is that we’re already in a shortage. Last year, as demand continued to build for its limited stocks, Suntory took the age statement off its Hibiki, suggesting less of the precious older stocks were being used. This year, they’ve introduced Toki, a welcome addition to the portfolio. Whereas Hibiki is a burnished, complex sipper, Suntory’s latest release, Toki, is a light, bright, perky spirit with a surprising punch of flavor—apple, citrus and honey notes backed by a lingering smokiness. It makes an elegant summer whisky served on the rocks, but it also seems destined to usher the return of the whisky highball, which has become the drink of choice in Tokyo these days. It’s very refreshing when made as they do, stirred over rocks in a tall glass, then joined with super-bubbly soda water and a lemon twist.
Beam Suntory, Deerfield, IL
Jordan Mackay’s writing on wine, spirits and food has appeared in the New York Times, Los Angeles Times, San Francisco Chronicle, Decanter, the Art of Eating and many other publications. While Secrets of the Sommeliers, the book he wrote with Rajat Parr, won a James Beard Award in 2011, it’s certain winemakers that he credits with some of his most important tasting lessons.
This story appears in the print issue of Winter 2016.
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