Ireland’s Glendalough Distillery has released a seven-year-old single malt whiskey finished in Japanese mizunara casks.
In February 2018, the distiller unveiled the world’s first Irish whiskey finished in Japanese mizunara oak: Glendalough 13 Year Old. It was followed by a 17-year-old finished in the same casks in February 2020.
The casks used to age the whiskey come from the island of Hokkaido in Japan. Glendalough said the rarity of mizunara oak makes sourcing a ‘great undertaking’.
The trunks of the trees tend to get twisted and they must grow to be twice the age of most oak trees before they can be felled, Glendalough said. Despite taking three years to dry, the wood is ‘notoriously difficult’ to cooper as it is prone to leaks. However, this enables the liquid to seep deeper into the wood, resulting in an exotic flavour.
The 46% ABV single malt offers a fruity and floral nose with notes of dark chocolate orange, sandalwood and cinnamon on the palate, which is said to be synonymous with mizunara whiskeys.
“Every whiskey has a story, this one has an epic adventure, worthy of being told over a glass. This whiskey came from a relentless search for the best oak on earth,” said Gary McLoughlin, founder and marketing director of Glendalough.
“By ‘best’ I suppose we mean most flavourful. What started in the wooded mountains around our distillery eventually led us to the snowy north of Japan, where we somehow managed to get our hands on mizunara. As the first Irish distillery ever to use this almost mythical species of oak we had really ventured into the unknown.”
Glendalough 7 Year Old Single Malt Mizunara Finish is available from 28 February in limited quantities across the US at select retailers for RRP US$99.99 per 750ml.