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92 points

Kaiyō Mizunara Oak, 43%

Mizunara oak is the modern signature of Japanese whisky, and Kaiyo- whisky enables inquisitive imbibers to savor the spice, incense, and sandalwood flavors of this rare wood for an attractive price. Distilled and matured in Japan, the casks then undergo a three-month ocean voyage from Osaka to Liverpool before bottling to encourage further flavorsome interactions. Ground spices, vanilla sponge cake, honey, brown sugar cubes, and scents of aromatic woods and incense. Pastry, egg custard, and allspice flavors, followed by a wave of vanilla creaminess and a lengthy finish with fading spices. Number 14 in the 2019 Top 20

Reviewed by: (Winter 2019)

91 points

Kaiyo Mizunara Oak, 43%

Finely ground spice, vanilla sponge cake, light honey, and brown sugar cubes, as well as the mizunara fingerprints of aromatic wood and incense. Pastry, egg custard, and allspice flavors; there’s just enough body apparent as the spices settle down, unleashing a substantial wave of vanilla creaminess. Leaves a long aftertaste, like a light-hearted pillow fight between the vanilla cream and the fading spices.

Reviewed by: (Summer 2019)

91 points

Kaiyo The Sheri Mizunara Oak Finished (First Edition), 46%

Don’t get me wrong, this is delicious, but while the mizunara oak subtleties cannot match the intensity of the sherry influence on the nose, its flavor contribution to this multidimensional whisky is rather wonderful. Strawberry, sherry, fig, prune, and nuts on the nose and palate, enriched with fragrant spices, millionaire’s shortbread, vanilla tablet, base notes of pepper, and a finish of sherry, fig, and spice.

Reviewed by: (Spring 2020)

90 points

Kaiyo Mizunara Oak Cask Strength, 53%

Fully matured in mizunara oak on land and sea, this has tangy orange, ground ginger, fennel seed, cedar, and incense, though it seems a little more tightly wound than the standard strength whisky. Juicy orange, quick firecracker spices, and more toffee sweetness; it becomes heavy and thick, flaunting high alcohol, then turns creamier with marzipan, orange Jell-O, and singed oak spices.

Reviewed by: (Summer 2019)

90 points

Kaiyo Mizunara Oak The Peated (2nd Edition), 46%

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.

Reviewed by: (Summer 2019)

89 points

Kaiyo Mizunara Oak The Single 7 year old, 48%

This whisky spends 7 years in bourbon barrels with a 6-month finish in mizunara. Sandalwood, incense, long pepper, grapefruit, cilantro leaf, pencil shavings, and red pepper rice cracker give this a dry, fragrant air. It’s silky with light honey, vanilla, fudge, and peaks with pepper, coconut, then green apple, before a finish of aromatic spices and tangy orange.

Reviewed by: (Summer 2019)