Did they stop making Hibiki whiskey?

Answered by Charles Pate

Hibiki whisky, produced by Suntory, has indeed undergone some changes in recent years. The discontinuation of certain age-stated expressions has caused quite a stir among whisky enthusiasts. In 2015, Suntory made the decision to discontinue the 12-year age-stated Hibiki and replaced it with the current non-age-stated Hibiki Harmony. This move was met with mixed reactions from fans of the 12-year expression, as it had become quite popular over the years.

As a sommelier and whisky enthusiast myself, I can understand both the disappointment and curiosity surrounding the discontinuation of the 12-year Hibiki. Age-stated whiskies often carry a certain prestige and are sought after by collectors and connoisseurs. However, it is important to remember that age is just one factor in determining the quality and flavor profile of a whisky.

The decision to discontinue the 12-year Hibiki was likely influenced by a combination of factors. One possible reason could be the increasing demand for whisky in recent years. With the global whisky market booming, distilleries may struggle to meet the demand for their products, especially those with age statements that require a significant amount of time to mature.

Another factor that may have influenced the discontinuation of the 12-year Hibiki is the shortage of aged whisky stock. Whisky production is a time-consuming process, and it takes years for a new batch of whisky to reach maturity. If stocks of aged whisky are running low, distilleries may need to make difficult decisions about which expressions to prioritize.

Fast forward to September 2018, and Suntory made another significant move by discontinuing the 17-year age-stated Hibiki. This decision came as a surprise to many whisky enthusiasts, as the 17-year expression was highly regarded and beloved by fans. The reasons behind this discontinuation are not explicitly stated by Suntory, but it can be speculated that similar factors played a role, such as supply constraints and the need to allocate resources to meet increasing demand.

While the discontinuation of age-stated expressions may be disheartening for fans of the specific age statements, it is important to remember that the quality of a whisky is not solely determined by its age. Non-age-stated whiskies, like the current Hibiki Harmony, can still offer exceptional flavor profiles and enjoyable drinking experiences.

Yes, Suntory has made the decision to discontinue certain age-stated expressions of Hibiki whisky. The 12-year age-stated Hibiki was replaced by the non-age-stated Hibiki Harmony in 2015, and the 17-year age-stated Hibiki was discontinued in September 2018. These decisions were likely influenced by factors such as increasing demand, supply constraints, and the need to allocate resources effectively. However, it is important for whisky enthusiasts to keep an open mind and explore the unique qualities of non-age-stated expressions, as age is just one aspect of what makes a great whisky.