Hibiki 21 Japanese Whisky Was Spotted At Costco For A Huge Deal

If you're lucky enough to live in a state where Costco sells spirits you ought to keep your eye out for bottles of the Hibiki 21-year-old. The Japanese blended whisky made by Suntory has earned the title of World's Best Blended Whisky multiple times, which makes it one of the best Japanese whiskies currently on the market.

For anyone not already familiar with Japanese whisky, the sticker shock can come as a surprise. The industry has enjoyed an enviable boom in recent years and the supply side has yet to meet demand which has led to prices regularly ticking up. The Hibiki 21, for example, was spotted at a Costco in Torrance, California for a gut-wrenching $690 (though prices may vary based on location). If that seems too expensive for a bottle of whisky, keep in mind that the typical asking price for a 750-milliliter bottle runs from around $1,000 to $1,500 or more in the United States. In that light, the Costco price looks pretty tasty but it still takes a special kind of whiskey lover to cough up that kind of cash for the sake of their collection.

If money is no object, the Hibiki 21 is certainly worth it. Praised for its exquisite balance and heralded as the apex of the blended whiskey genre, Hibiki 21 uses a mixture of Japanese, American, and European wood in the maturation process to create a gently sweet ambrosia with a hint of peated smoke.

Suntory prices continue to climb higher

Suntory recently celebrated its 100th birthday and used the occasion to announce price hikes for its products, among other things. Some of the price increases can likely be attributed to rising global food costs, but there's good reason to believe that Suntory's recent expansion of its facilities is also to blame. In response to rising demand for Japanese whisky, Suntory invested millions of dollars into its distilleries to increase their output. The increased cost of its whisky is a downstream effect of investment, even if the ultimate goal of balancing supply and demand should theoretically bring prices back down.

The situation is further muddied by the fact that Suntory's MSRP (manufacturer's suggested retail price) is often well below the actual price of its products. The Hibiki 21 is a great example of this. The current MSRP for Hibiki 21 is 55,000 yen (roughly $350) but the coveted whisky is regularly selling in the U.S. for over $1,000. This isn't to let Suntory off the hook completely. In a wave of price increases by the distillery, Hibiki 21 saw a 28% increase back in 2022 and a 72% increase in April of 2024. There are plenty of Suntory products at Costco affected by these price hikes and the Hibiki line is getting hit exceptionally hard. All the same, if you're a whiskey investor, the Costco price could help you get into the market at a relatively decent entry point.