Harnessing the unique characteristics of Mizunara, a rare Japanese oak, Suntory Whisky have been able to make a huge leap forward in their whisky making. The newly released Yamazaki Mizunara 2017 Edition promises to highlight the unique properties of the uniquely Japanese tree, presenting whisky lovers with a blend created from a selection of single malt whiskies aged entirely in Mizunara casks for at least 18 years.
“I wanted to reveal the whisky’s soul; that is, the art of Mizunara – a heightened sense and awakened palate engaged through aromas and flavours never known before”, said Suntory’s Chief Blender Shinji Fukuyo. “Encountering it should be a moment of epiphany”.
The star-player of this whisky is of course the wood itself, which is found only in a few regions across Japan. The Mizunara oak is hard and permeable in nature, which makes it very difficult to use in cask making, seeing as it’s hard to shape and join with precision and doesn’t retain liquid well. It took awhile, the through perseverance, Suntory’s craftsman were able to master the art of Mizunara cask-making, becoming used to using the trees which were best suited to the casks. Through the long maturation process this has filled the blend with distinctive spiciness and incense-like aromas as well as notes of sandalwood and aloe wood.
Tastings notes indicate that the liquid is amber in colour with a rich and elegant nose filled with aloe wood and cinnamon. The palate is said to be characterised by condensed sweetness, dry fruits, coconut and orange marmalade and a very silky texture, while the finish lingers with Japanese incense, aloe wood, cinnamon and tartness.
One for the collectors, the whisky is presented to buyers in a special wooden box crafted from recycled Suntory casks. The Yamazaki Mizunara 2017 Edition is currently available across Australia at a handful of select retailers and on-premise venues for an RRP of $1,400 (700ml). Only 5000 bottles have made made available around the world.