Review: Kaiyō Japanese Mizunara Oak Whisky

In our recent report we learned much more about the story behind Kaiyō Whisky. This puts us in a better position to get into the whiskies themselves! Four different bottles will be reviewed over the coming weeks.

The first whisky on the roster is named simply Kaiyō Japanese Mizunara Oak Whisky. As the entry point to the brand, it should give us a good idea of what Kaiyō is all about. Like we discussed, this juice is distilled in Japan, then aged both within Japan and partially at sea. The label offers no age statement.

So does that aging at sea actually make a difference? Let’s find out.

Review: Kaiyō Japanese Mizunara Oak Whisky

Nose: Pear and wood dust, dried oranges

Palate: Light, fruity and full of vanilla, with smidgen of leather. Delicate across the tongue.

Finish: Long and oaky, chewy, closing out a bit vegetative, salty, and spicy.

Score: B

Price paid: $64.99, 750ml, 43% abv

My guess would be it’s quite young, yet still decently rounded and well-balanced. Mizunara does its job quite well — it’s as spicy as you need it to be. I could go for a bit more depth in the nose, but this is a solid introduction to the series.

Thanks again to Alligator Char for bringing these all the way from the US!


  1. Brian/Dramtastic

    Apart from a person associated with the company telling you they sourced young whisky/new make from a distillery in Japan, what evidence is there they did. If he/they won’t name the distillery and that distillery confirms, I’m pretty sure it wasn’t in your article, so we are only taking the fact it is Japanese Distilled Whisky on the word of one person.

    1. Whiskey Richard

      That’s correct, it’s only on the word of one person. But if we aren’t taking people and companies at their word, what’s the alternative? Sitting in the warehouse for years and years, watching the whisky age? I’m all for being skeptical but at some point we’ll have to trust someone else. If Kaiyō wanted to keep things really secret they wouldn’t have spoken to me at all.

      Or are you asking if I can identify the distillery/distilleries based on the nose of the whisky? In that case, nope!

Share your thoughts! Start nomunicating now!

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.