- Brand: Kaiyo
- ABV: 43%
The first time I've tasted whisky that has been aged in Mizunara Oak was at Bainbridge Organic Distillers in Washington. Their Yama Mizunara Cask whiskey is outstanding and was so unique that I was inspired to learn about Mizunara Oak and how it is used in whisky aging. I was excited when Total Wine & More in my area got Kaiyo Mizunara Oak Whisky in stock and $70.00 seemed a bargain compared to Chivas Ultis. After holding off for a special occasion to open the bottle during a get together with some friends who enjoy whisky just as much as I do, I was downright embarassed and quickly moved on to pour another whisky. Fortunately, Kaiyo's lack of any distinct finish meant the disappointment was quickly forgotten. The nose teases potential of tasting something unique as I have smelled and touched Mizunara Oak personally and the nose brought those memories back. Vanilla and almost like cork wood but more softer with dark cherry. But that is as good as it gets with this. The taste is completely devoid of anything that passes as flavor. In fact, I might as well have been tasting vodka it was so devoid of any character. There is nothing really to be said of the finish either since there was no taste. Myself and my friends could not really find any words to describe the taste of this whisky which is a testament about how bland this bottle is. There are many exceptional whiskies to be had for $70 and I would recommend everyone to pass on this for something much better. I personally would not even spend $20 on this disappointment and in fact would never buy it again. I've read that it takes an extraordinary long time for whisky to acquire the unique flavors of Mizunara Oak and it is possible that this producer simply did not age the whisky adequate amount of time.