I think you should definitely try the 10 year versions of all three Yoichi, Miyagikyou and Hakushu, but am interested in knowing more about the new Hakushu.
Can you send a link to the article on the latest bottling? The Hakushu and Miyagikyou distilleries are both very nice to visit and you get to try some stuff not available in the stores as well.
To answer your question about how you'd be better served, I would think with a three day train pass to go to Miyagikyou (Miyagi), Hakushu (Yamanashi) and also Yaesu Chikamachi Sotobori (Tokyo) would be both very enjoyable, and you'd learn a lot in a very short amount of time.
I'm going to a scotch tasting in a couple days and hope that they'll have the Black Bottle and Peat Monster there.
Last edited by Islay Peat; 05-01-2013 at 10:37 AM.