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A delicious Japanese blended malt, containing spirit from Ichiro Akuto’s highly acclaimed Chichibu distillery, alongside rare whisky from the lost Hanyu distillery (originally built by Ichiro’s grandfather). This dram has been aged in French oak wine barrels, imparting dark chocolate, spice and fruity flavours to the spirit.
Chichibu, Saitama, Japan
Chichibu now uses some barley malted onsite, something that even most Scottish distilleries don’t do, meaning that their spirit has a quality that is uniquely theirs. This bottling contains a combination of younger spirit from Chichibu, and older whisky from the Hanyu distillery, marrying together to produce a blended malt of supreme balance.
Mizunara can be roughly translated as “water oak”, a reference to the fact that this wood tends to be a lot leakier than other kinds used for making casks, which of course increases the cost of using it. It also reaches maturity later, and grows in a gnarly, knotted fashion, making its wood more difficult to use for coopers and distillers. Nevertheless, it is prized by whisky-makers, particularly in Japan, for the unique fragrant qualities it brings to a spirit.
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Intensely woody, with notes of cigar box, pencil shaving, sandalwood and spiced oak, alongside some apple, grassy malt and vanilla.
Classic Mizunara flavours of coconut and palo santo are joined by apples, pears, floral honey, sweet malt, vanilla, and cinnamon-spiced oak.
Medium long, with toffee and brown sugar lingering, followed by more of that powerful wood and oak spice profile.