Wednesday, September 13, 2017


Beam Suntory, has announced the launch of a new 18 Year Old Yamazaki single malt expression, which has been matured exclusively in Japanese Mizunara oak casks.

The Yamazaki Mizunara Cask 2017 Edition (48% ABV) is the creation of Suntory’s fourth Chief Blender Shinji Fukuyo, who sampled hundreds of Mizunara matured whiskies, before marrying together his final selection of whiskies, which were aged between 18 and 50 years old.

The Yamazaki Mizunara Cask 2017 Edition

For more than three generations, the master blenders at Suntory Whisky, the founding house of Japanese Whisky, have devoted themselves to pursuing the harmony of Japanese nature and craftsmanship. One of the most impressive examples of this pursuit is found in Mizunara, the Japanese oak.

The wood from this rare and demanding tree inspired Suntory to take a step forward in whisky making, both in perfecting new cask-making techniques and in creating flavours never before tasted in whisky.

In the early 1940s, Suntory’s blenders began small scale experiments with Mizunara. But it wasn’t until the end of World War II, when it became difficult to import wood, that Suntory truly focused on mastering the homegrown Mizunara cask.

Although only found in a few regions within Japan, it wasn’t Mizunara’s rarity that presented the greatest challenge to cask makers. It was the hard, permeable nature of the wood. The name Mizunara comes from the tree’s high moisture content – in Japanese “mizu” means water and “nara” means oak.

Its permeable character is less than ideal for cask making since liquid can easily seep through the wood. And because Mizunara is a hardwood, it can be difficult to shape and join with the precision needed to prevent leaks.

Commenting on the whisky, Shinji Fukuyo, said: “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. Encountering it should be a moment of epiphany.”

The Yamazaki Mizunara Cask 2017 Edition, will be available later this month from selected specialist retailers, for a RRP of £1,000,00.

Posted by Steve Rush