Hibiki: Japanese whisky has been around now for quite some time, with Suntory being the eldest distillery amongst them all. This year the Suntory Hibiki range welcomed a new expression: the Harmony. The Hibiki range was created to be the paragon of the Suntory blend. The name Hibiki literally means “resonance” in Japanese. Hibiki ingeniously embraces the subtleties in the Japanese nature found in the 24 seasons of the traditional calendar. This is reflected in the 24 facets of the bottles design of which I’ve always been an admirer of. The Hibiki is a harmonious blend made up of Suntory’s malt (Yamazaki & Hakushu) and grain (Chita) distilleries that have been carefully blended to create this expression, which encapsulates everything that is good about the Hibiki blend.
Tasting Notes:On the nose is an intensive waft of plums, lychee’s and apricots. This then closely followed by a lovely leathery note, sandalwood, honey and a hint of zest. There are some lovely notes of ground almonds, vanilla, candy and butterscotch floating around in there, which are complimented by liquorice, rosemary, some floral notes and a touch of oak. On the palate: the initial notes of honey, plum and cocoa trickle over the palate. Alongside this are notes of candyfloss, oranges, tobacco, vanilla and fennel seed. Completing the palate is a warm buttery note, a hint of lemon zest and light peppery flavour. The finish: is medium – long, subtle, salty with lingering Mizunara oak.
The verdict: As far as Japanese blends go, Hibiki is one of the best, so when we first heard of this new expression within the Hibiki range we were intrigued. On the nose it has everything that you would expect from Hibiki and on the palate it is so well-balanced. Its character matches its namesake perfectly, it is indeed Harmony. In my opinion it doesn’t really need any water but if required then only add in small quantities until it is right for you. However, if you don’t feel the need just allow it to breathe for 5 – 7 minutes.
Info: ABV 43% in a 70cl bottle
Résonance: To create a timepiece such as the Chronomètre à Resonance it requires tremendous skill and at the turn of the 21st century master watchmaker Francois-Paul Journe done exactly that. Some ten years later F.P. Journe created a new edition that would now feature a 24-hour indicator, making the Chronomètre à Résonance even more desirable.
The Chronomètre À Résonance, acclaimed by collectors and professionals of the brand worldwide now features a face that is undeniably F.P. Journe but with an extra added feature. In an ultimate quest for precision, the dial at 9 o’clock now offers a time indication of 24 hours, defining precisely the hours of day and those of night. The dial at 3 o’clock in silver guilloche indicates the local time but can also be used for the same time zone.
The new Chronomètre à Résonance will be, like its predecessor, available in two versions: one with a platinum case and white gold dial and the other all in red gold, with both coming in either 38mm or 40mm. The two dials in silver guilloche indicating the hours, minutes and seconds are secured on the 18K gold dial by polished steel rings, a patent by F.P.Journe, which only lends greater depth to the dial.
This new Resonance movement has also seen a modification: there is now a different gear transmission making the hands turn in 24-hours instead of 12-hours. Turning the timepiece over and peering into the sapphire case back reveals the subtle 18K rose gold mechanism, with its two perfectly synchronised beating mechanical hearts, oscillating in harmony. The Chronomètre à Résonance was inspired with a profound amount of poetic depth, and till this day, remains the most precise mechanical watch of contemporary watch making.