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Ichiro's Malt MWR Mizunara Wood Reserve Pure Malt Japanese Whisky (700ml)
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- ABV 46%
Chichibu founder and craft distiller, Ichiro Akuto, has created a vatting of single malts and matured them in Japanese Mizunara oak casks (Quercus mongolica), commonly referred to as Japanese oak. Suntory set a precedent for experimenting with this indigenous species. It presented a logical alternative for distillers after the Second World War when supplies of foreign oak were difficult to source, but it turned out to be a far from ideal vessel. Mizunara's loose grains tended to cause leakage, and also created challenges in terms of timber selection and cooperage. Blenders at the time had few kind words to say about the wood. For consumers today, the obvious question is "Does Mizunara oak give a distinctive flavour to whisky?"Nonjatta, (www.nonjatta.com), one of the better sources for information on Japanese whisky, writes that most agree that it does. "This special taste/aroma has been variously described as evoking "sandalwood", a type of oriental incense called "kara" etc.. However, more recently, scientific research has focused on a distinctive coconut aroma associated with Mizunara barrels. A paper delivered by Yushi Noguchi at the Worldwide Distilled Spirits Conference 2008 in September tried to pin down this characteristic and makes fascinating reading. The researchers, supported by Suntory, The International Centre for Brewing and Distilling and the Scotch Whisky Research Institute, asked a panel of testers to score how much coconut smell they detected in two types of whisky: one matured in Mizunara and the other matured in White Oak barrels." The upshot was that Mizunara matured whisky tends to offer more definite coconut aroma. Other sources suggest it contributes attractive sandalwood notes. The whisky is non chill filtered. No tasting notes available.