Japanese whisky giant Suntory has finally brought Toki, its newest blended whisky product, to the UK following its launch in the US in 2016.
Made with a blend of whiskies from its Hakushu, Yamazaki and Chita distilleries, Suntory decided to place more emphasis on the malt than would normally be expected.
‘Usually grain plays the base in a blend, it’s always the unsung hero. But for Toki we took a different approach, we thought let’s have a two-pillar concept with as much focus on malt as grain, rather than a pyramid concept, where there’s a little malt at the top and the grain whisky comprises the main body,’ explained Mike Miyamoto, Suntory’s global brand ambassador.
Created to capture new drinkers, the liquid has real complexity, which Miyamoto credits with the type of grain whisky used from Chita.
‘We had to use a grain whisky that’s heavier than usual. We make three types of grain at Chita, and in this recipe we used the heavy type,’ he said.
The result is a liquid that would work really well in highballs and other cocktails as well as enjoyed neat. A nose of bananas, oats, malt, melon, oily gears and vanilla leads onto a relatively sweet and light grassy palate with plenty of melon and pear, vanilla ice cream, almonds, cinnamon and nutmeg. Drying out in the middle, there’s a smattering of heat on the finish too.
Priced at £35, it’s relatively reasonable for Japanese whisky, and would be a solid addition to any back bar, from pub to high-end establishment.
Edrington Beam-Suntory UK, 01786 430500