- Nick's Import
Fuyu Mizunara Finish Blended Japanese Whisky (700ml)
Nicks import pricing. Elsewhere pay $190.
Fuyu means "Winter" in Japanese. This three year old blend is a run of around 6000 bottles made from 50% malt and 50% corn plus a little wheat from Honshu island. Initially aged in American oak barrels, before bottling it was transferred into Mizunara casks for six months, adding those elusive characteristics that makes this wood prized (and expensive). Suntory began to experiment with Japanese Oak (Quercus mongolica) after the Second World War when supplies of foreign oak were difficult to source. It made 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. It's scarcer than European and American oak, notoriously expensive, and to top it off, the trees are harvested at around 200 years old (compared to around 75 for American/European oak).
For drinkers, the obvious question is "Does Mizunara oak give a distinctive flavour to whisky?" The consensus is that it tends to offer a more definite coconut aroma. Other sources suggest the wood contributes attractive sandalwood notes. According to the producers, in this bottling, expect notes of coconut, caramel, smoke, and cooked fruit. 45% Alc./Vol.