The House of Suntory took over Melbourne’s Hihou Japanese Bar for one night to introduce us to it’s 12 year old Suntory Whisky range. Normally a wine drinker myself, this opportunity to try out some masterly crafted Japanese Whisky and delicious Japanese food was too hard to pass up.
If you’ve never been to Hihou before, it’s best to make a booking as this place gets busy! There is no signage at the front and you are required to ring the bell and wait to be let in. Hihou is a stylish, intimate bar where you’d go for a quiet drink and sumptuous morsels of Japanese cuisine.
On this particular night, The House of Suntory laid out a menu with their Hibiki Whisky (done various ways) to match. The result left us wanting to repeat the whole experience over again.
We were treated to fried Shitake mushroom (kara age) which was accompanied by Yamazaki Highball (served with soda), Kingfish sashimi with the Hakushu served neat and a Temaki open roll with lobster, cucumber and caviar with the Hibiki whisky on the rocks.
There are plenty of other dishes to sample if you want to try more.
How to Enjoy Japanese Whisky
When it comes to enjoying this refined drink, there have only been a few ways which it has been served. You may have heard of whisky served ‘neat’ (straight in a glass), on ice or with a fizzy beverage such as ginger ale, soda or mineral water. Personally, I like to enjoy a good whisky served ‘neat’ to appreciate it’s full flavour.
The 12 year old Hakushu, served neat, was incredibly smooth. Even though it was refreshing to experience it with soda in the ‘Highball’ variation, I felt that it didn’t do justice to the high quality,12 year old Yamazaki. It was just too diluted to fully appreciate. Whisky in the ‘Highball’ would be perfect for those who would like a more subtle way to enjoy this drink but I would suggest it for the cheaper varieties. The Hibiki on ice was also very smooth.
The Japanese definitely know the art of making whisky.