As the demand for Japanese whisky has increased exponentially over the past decade, prices for the good stuff have gone through the roof, and the market has been stripped of most of its stock, leaving many distillers in a scramble to keep up to speed: a commodity they simply don’t have when it comes to the ageing process. Suntory has taken a different approach, and created a new blended whisky that is aimed at satiating the thirst of highball drinkers, though it punches well above its weight as a neat sipper, too.
Drawing on the stock from Suntory’s three unique, distinctive and legendary distilleries, being Yamazaki, Hakushu and Chita, this is a very smooth and balanced blend which displays the lovely delicate peat endemic to Hakushu, the smoothness of Chita grain whisky, and the fresh vibrancy of Yamazaki, to produce a product that will please the most blasé of highball quaffers and fastidious cocktail fanciers.
Light golden straw in colour, Toki is a poised and pretty whisky with light fruit and subtle smoke at the very front, with a very pleasing mouthfeel and a clean but present finish. Though pitched as a cocktail whisky, or to be served with soda water over ice at a ratio of 4:1, lovers of neat whisky will appreciate Suntory’s careful blending here; this whisky seriously impresses in terms of complexity and delicacy on the palate.
Bottled at 43 per cent ABV, and presented in a visually pleasing rectangular bottle that would look great on any home or back bar, Suntory Toki is a breath of fresh air in a market which is probably due for a reminder that whisky is made to be drunk, not stuck up on a shelf forever. With a RRP of AUD$65, this is a seriously affordable drop too, and could easily become a favourite go-to for those wanting to get amongst some Japanese liquid gold without forking out exorbitant wads of cash for the pleasure.