Kaiyo "The Peated" Mizunara Oak Japanese Whisky (750ml)

SKU #1364563 92 points Wine Enthusiast

Outer quote mark The lightly smoky sea-breeze aroma entices on the nose. The palate opens with bolder peat smoke underpinned by vanilla and coconut, finishing with a mouthwatering salt-and-pepper accent. Adding water pulls it all together, creating an effect like vanilla cookies sprinkled with coarse sea salt, plus a puff of peat smoke. This was matured in ex-Madeira casks for two years, then transferred to Mizunara oak for ocean maturation for a final six years. (KN) Inner quote mark (3/2021)

90 points Whisky Advocate

Outer quote mark This is utterly unique; made from imported Scottish peated malt, it spends 2 years in madeira casks, then 6 years in mizunara casks. Light, clean, fruity refreshment: apple, white grape, lingering cigar smoke, coconut macaroons, and ample Japanese oak influence. Apple and watermelon flavors, developing a more sugary fruitiness of Life Savers hard candy, all brushed with gentle spice and a swish of smoke. Jonny McCormick (Summer 2019) Inner quote mark

K&L Notes

Kaiyo is a negotiant bottler started by a drinks group led by former Asahi employee Mr. Watanabe. He was able to purchase "teaspooned" malt whisky barrels from an unnamed Japanese whisky supplier via his connections in the industry ("teaspooning" is when a distiller adds a teaspoon of another whisky into the barrel before selling it, thus preventing the purchaser from claiming it as a single malt from that distillery). The whiskies are purchased as teaspooned new make (unaged distillates) and then put into Japanese Mizunara oak barrels from Ariake, considered one of the best manufacturers in the world (each new Mizunara barrel costs between $6,500 - $7,500). For those unfamiliar with the legend of Japanese Mizunara oak, it's become heralded in the whisky world both for the exotic flavors of incense, sandalwood, and coconut it passes along to the spirit as well as its expense. Difficult to cooper and notoriously inefficient as a vessel, editions of Yamazaki and Bowmore aged in Mizunara wood have sold at four figure prices, making the Kaiyo whiskies seem like a steal in comparison. You get an exotic note of tea and faint orange peel on the nose of the standard Kaiyo edition, but the soft and rather delicate palate brings more of the vanilla and oak character. The spices come out on the finish with lots of pepper and oolong. It's very Japanese in its restraint, graceful from front to back without any serious peaks or valleys. And of course, this bottling is beautifully peated!

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Price: $99.99
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Product Reviews:

By: Neal Fischer | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 6/25/2018 | Send Email
Yippy-Kaiyo! This new peated expression from Kaiyo maintains the bottler’s search for balanced whiskies and graceful maturation techniques. The delicate wood grain of the Mizunara casks used for aging lends both flavor and finesse to this tasty spirit. At 92 proof with no chill filtration and the peat, this is a full-flavored dram, but no individual component overwhelms. The peat is definitely present, but it stays soft on the nose with subtle elements of chile spice with a particular restrained oak note along with floral scents. That oak comes up first on the palate but is quickly followed by the peat, maintaining the balance present in the nose. There’s a lovely vanilla cream and honey sweetness that fades into a very dry finish of that gentle lingering peat.

By: Andrew Whiteley | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 6/14/2018 | Send Email
This instantly skyrocketed to my favorite of the 3 Kaiyo bottlings. The peat is just big enough to amp up everything else about the whisky but not overpower it. The first thing you notice is the incredible fruitiness of the spirit. Green apples stand out in a big way. The peat comes in a little bit later and takes the edge off of the sweet fruit. Salted caramel, sea spray, and other salty notes also hit it big on the nose. Perhaps this comes from the long ocean voyage the whiskey makes before bottling. The rocking of the ship and the intense humidity, pressure, and temperature changes from this trip allows for maximum contact and interaction between the juice and the world famous Mizunara Oak. The palate comes through with more cereal notes and lets the malt shine. The fruit dives into a more complex tropical set of flavors. Tons of coconut, pineapple, and sweet florals come out to play. The finish is quite long and presents really clean with just a graceful wafting smoke. All around a spectacular dram.

By: Jeffrey Jones | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 6/13/2018 | Send Email
I tasted this product with and without water. I suggest a splash of water because it really opens it up and helps show what an tasty and interesting treat this is.There nice smoke notes in the nose. In the mouth it is soft, and like most Japanese malts on the light side. It is the unique and complex spice flavors that set this single malt apart from the crowd. Delicious and seductive.

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