Tag Archives: Mizunara Casks

Kyasuku Cask Reserve, 40%, World Whisky

Japanese Whisky is in the news.

Primarily for the massive growth & increasing popularity experienced internationally.

Secondly for labelling.

Every dog on the street knows Japanese Whisky can contain whisky distilled in some other country.

This has never put me off.

I enjoy whisky – wherever it’s from – and look forward to tasting the results of Japanese blending & maturation.

Kyasuku Cask Reserve – available in yer local Aldi – is clearly labelled as ‘ World Whisky Matured & Blended In Japan’.

No issues there then!

It also says it’s finished in Mizunara Casks – which makes it very exciting!

I couldn’t wait to try it!

Reassuringly pale in colour.

Getting a sweet, intense floral bouquet with a touch of woody depth on the nose.

Very soft & smooth on the palate – much like many malts.

A gentle oaky spice – Mizunara is Japanese Oak – slowly grows along with a lip smacking juiciness on a luscious long lasting finish.

Kyasuku is a very engaging & highly entertaining blend packed full of fascinating & enticing flavours.

Top marks to Aldi for sourcing this easily affordable & eminently approachable slice of Japanese blending & maturation prowess.

Sláinte

All images authors own.

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Kurayoshi Whisky Tasting

Japanese Whisky gets a bad rap for it’s perceived lack of rules – yet that doesn’t seem to deter growing sales & increasing appeal.

My personal problem with Japanese Whisky tends to be lack of availability – and when it is – the price tag.

So when the Celtic Whiskey Shop in association with European Distributors BBC Spirits offered a Zoom whisky tasting – I was in like Flynn!

During the course of the event I gathered Kurayoshi is a range of blended malts from a variety of unnamed Japanese distilleries bottled by the Kurayoshi/Matsui Distillery. They are presented non chill filtered & natural colour.

Sherry Cask c/oCelticWhiskeyShop

Kurayoshi Sherry Cask 43%

An NAS – non age statement – offered at just over 3 years, matured in ex-bourbon casks & finished in sherry casks. There was no new make feel of this richly flavoured whisky. It was noted maturation times in Japan can be shorter than Scotland or Ireland due to the extremes of temperature experienced. Many tasters enjoyed fruity notes with this easy going malt, a discernible sherry influence, long lasting finish & enjoyable prickly bite.

8yo c/oCelticWhiskeyShop

Kurayoshi 8 Year Old, 43%

A clean & fresh ex-bourbon cask matured malt. The use of toasted barrels brought out warm vanilla & caramel notes, along with a certain depth & pleasant peppery spice on the finish – which some compared to that of Powers. Nice!

12yo c/oCelticWhiskeyShop

Kurayoshi 12 Year Old, 43%

More subtle, balanced & rounded with similar maturation to the 8. The peppery spice on the finish was more pronounced. A favourite of many on the tasting.

18yo c/oCelticWhiskeyShop

Kurayoshi 18 Year Old, 50%

A much more intriguing nose, touches of leathery wood, a slight smokiness from the barrels, greater depth & complexity. The higher ABV left a powerful impression & was a delight to enjoy.

The panel was split between the 12 & the 18 as to most well received so far. I must admit to being an 18 fan – although I did enjoy the 8 too!

The final offering was a little different!

Matsui Mizunara c/oDekanta

Matsui Single Malt, Mizunara Cask, 48%

One of the first releases from the Matsui Distillery itself & aged in Japanese Mizunara Casks – this malt displays some rather unusual & attractive flavours showcasing it’s Japanese manufacture – which is what I’m after! Earthy woody notes combine with a slight sweetness. A clean & fresh palate offering orchard fruits & a lovely balanced peppery spice on the finish. The complexity of flavour belies it’s youthfulness. The Matsui quickly became the pick of the best!

The Celtic Whiskey Shop are currently running weekly whiskey tastings. The opportunity to explore bottles possibly ‘out of reach’ & to virtually chat with fellow whiskey fans in a relaxed manner makes for an enjoyable evening.

I’d highly recommend joining in.

Sláinte