The Toki is an unorthodox take from the regular Japanese expressions, where the key constituents are usually summoned from the Yamazaki distillery. This grain-malt mix however is a fusion from all the three Suntory greats – Yamazaki, Hakushu and Chita, in varying forms and proportions.
The whisky’s grain constituents make their way from the Chita distillery while the malts from Hakashu, aged in American Oak and Yamazaki matured in Spanish and American oak casks. The resulting blend is a unison of sweet and floral nuances, that are all nicely tied together with the mild peatiness from the Hakashu malts.
The bottle too strays from the traditional ‘give away’ Suntory style. Distinct and exclusive with a more modern take of Japanese styling, adorned with corners, ridges and contours, yet keeping with the traditional oriental calligraphy.
ABV : 43%
Eye : Pale Gold
Nose : Vanilla, cream and honey coupled with the soft sweetness of golden raisins and some acidity from pineapples and green apples. There’s a mild olive like earthiness followed by ginger, cardamom and pepper.
Taste: Honey and vanilla infused with grain and mild sherry influences. There’s a trailing ginger spice with a pinch of pepper.
Finish : Short to medium | Vanilla and pepper.
The Toki is a near disappointment, and is far from what I imagine a Japanese whisky to be. Yes, it is light and subtle but doesn’t exhibit that range of flavours and floral notes that I would have otherwise expected. This expression is sweet with pinches of its sherry and bourbon cask influence showing off, but not enough pull to make it the centre point of discussion.
I don’t believe this whisky can stand tall on its own, but needs an accompanyment – some sparkling water or additives to give form to a more comforting cocktail. Perhaps that was how the distillers intended this whisky to be, for the masses? Having said that, it is quite expensive, the cost solely being due to its eastern DNA and treasured bloodline.