Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you know Japanese whisky is experiencing a major boom globally. Age stated Japanese whiskies are becoming increasingly more difficult to find on store shelves. In fact, the only age stated Japanese whisky I see on shelves regularly is Hakushu 12 year. Yamazaki 12 year is becoming almost as rare to find as its older 18-year-old sibling. For distilleries, older whisky stocks aren’t as plentiful as they once were. As a response to that and Japanese whisky’s popularity, companies are releasing non age statement whiskies. Suntory’s latest is Toki.
Toki is a blend of malt whiskies from the Yamazaki and Hakushu distilleries and grain whiskies from the Chita distillery. The primary whiskies here are American oak cask matured whisky from Hakushu and “heavy-type” grain whisky from Chita. Any malt whiskies used from Yamazaki represent a small percentage of the total blend.
Price wise, Toki is the cheapest whisky from Suntory available in the U.S. It’s currently available for about $40. Like many other whiskies from the brand, Toki is bottled at 43% abv.
The nose is fairly light and fruity, with honey, lightly-spiced apple, vanilla and herbal notes. On entry, the whisky carries a toffee sweetness alongside hints of vanilla, ripe Granny Smith apples, and those green herbal notes found in Hakushu malts. The mid-palate features nectarines and lightly-brewed green tea. Some oak tannins begin to appear going into the long, sweet and spicy finish, which features black peppercorns and honeyed pears.
With Hibiki Harmony and now Toki, Suntory has shown that it can release quality non-age stated whiskies. While not as complex as Hibiki Harmony, Toki still offers a very enjoyable, if delicate, tasting experience. I prefer Toki neat, but I also like this one in a whisky highball (one part Toki to three parts sparkling water, served over ice with a lemon twist). Recommended! 8/10
Thanks to Beam Suntory for the sample! As always, all thoughts and opinions are my own.