Suntory Whisky and Yamazaki Distillery, the originators of Japanese whisky, have announced the release of Yamazaki Mizunara Cask 2017.
Mizunara is a rare Japanese oak, highly water-permeable and tough to reshape. Difficulties presented in using this wood for whisky production inspired Yamazki blenders to pursue “new cask-making techniques and [create] flavors never before tasted in whisky,” the company says.
Although rarer, Suntory’s cask makers found that straight grain trees are less permeable, the company says. Trees suitable for cask making must have grown perfectly straight and have a diameter of at least 27.5 inches. They also tend to be far older than trees used in other casks.
Whiskies included in Yamazaki Mizunara Cask 2017 are of varying ages, from 18 years old and beyond. A very small portion exceed 50 years of maturation.
The amber-colored whisky has a nose of fragrance, aloe wood and cinnamon, the company reports, and flavors of condensed sweetness, silky texture, dry fruits, coconut and orange marmalade. The finish includes Japanese incense, aloe wood, cinnamon and tartness.
Yamazaki Mizunara Cask 2017 Edition is 48% ABV (96 proof) with a suggested retail price of $1000 per 750-ml. bottle. It is available this October.