Age: No age statement
The newest entry to the Suntory stable, Toki is a blend made up of spirit from the company’s three distilleries: Yamazaki, Hakushu and Chita. The latter – a grain distillery – reportedly makes up the bulk of this whisky, which helps explain the rather modest price tag. Although Toki may be meant more for the bar scene, the fact is that there isn’t really another affordable entry-level Suntory bottling out there (at least not in Europe). This means that Toki may be the first encounter many whisky drinkers have with Suntory, and unfortunately it’s not one that does justice to the amazing range the company has to offer. There’s Suntory The Chita, but this is of course a single grain whisky. In this sense, Nikka has really stolen a march on Suntory, with excellent bottlings like Nikka from the Barrel and Nikka Coffey Malt that are bound to excite and entice someone to further explore the range.
Toki is Japanese for time. It’s an odd choice given that this whisky doesn’t carry an age statement and probably hasn’t matured for all that long, but perhaps it’s a nod to that classic line from Lost in Translation..? Either way, it certainly is time to give Toki a try.
Colour: Pale honey
Nose: Light and floral, with plenty of citrusy aromas. A delicate scent of tangerines and pear gives way to icing sugar and a whiff of coconut. Toki isn’t very outspoken so far, but quite inviting nonetheless.
Palate: Sweet and rather soft-bodied, but without a lot of depth to it. The flavour of ripe orchard fruits and honey slowly fades into a vaguely herbal profile. The result is almost like a lemonade, but with a few rough edges here and there. Pleasant enough, but not very engaging.
Finish: Reasonably long, as Toki finally provides a burst of spice, fuelled by white pepper and allspice.
Verdict: I don’t dislike this whisky. I don’t particularly like it either. In fact I don’t really have any strong feelings about it whatsoever. And let’s be honest… that’s not really what you look for when pouring yourself a dram. Don’t get me wrong, Toki is a well engineered blend, and a smooth one at that. But it’s missing some character and depth, and could’ve used more of its namesake… time. Then again, I’m probably being harsh by judging Toki against the standards of a premium blend. This whisky is supposedly made for highballs, and perhaps that’s indeed the best way of drinking it. When it comes to sipping neat though, Toki is best avoided.
Value for money: 🤩🤩🤩