Hot on the heels of Roku Gin comes Suntory’s stab at vodka, Haku. “Made under the philosophy of monozukuri craftmanship and representing the nature and spirit of Japan, this premium craft vodka is made from 100% Japanese white rice. In a process completely unique to Suntory, the rice distillate is filtered through bamboo charcoal, which preserves and enhances the rice’s delicately sweet and subtle flavors.”
All of that uniqueness in the way this vodka is produced adds up to — well — a fairly traditional, modern vodka. The nose is understated, with a hint of lemon atop a slightly mushy cereal character — perhaps oatmeal or (better yet) rice porridge. The palate offers a graham cracker note and a moderate vanilla character; there’s ample sweetness here, as promised by Roku’s tasting note, the finish offering a creamy character that recalls ice cream.
Ultimately, the muddy beginning and slightly too sweet conclusion are a bit at odds with one another, and the vodka never really braces the palate the way a top shelf vodka should.
Love the bottle, though.