In 1973, Japanese spirits giant Suntory opened its second distillery: Hakushu. Also known as ‘The Forest Distillery’, Hakushu is located on the slopes of Mount Kaikoma. The distillery was expanded to 36 stills in 1981 and now had the capacity to produce 30 million litres of whisky per year, making it the largest distillery in the world at the time. In 2006, the original stillhouse was closed following decreased demand. Hakushu currently operates 16 stills, which produce a fresh, herbal and lightly smoky spirit. Hakushu 18 Years Old matured in a combination of American and European oak casks. The whisky has a fresh and flowery nose with aromas of ripe pear, orange zest, dried mint, oregano, cinnamon, freshly cut grass and smoke. The palate is smooth with well-balanced flavours of jasmine, mango, quince, baked goods, menthol and caramel, supported by nutty sherried notes in the background. The finish is long with lingering fruits and gentle smoke. This is a pretty rare 43.5% edition that was bottled for the Japanese market.