Kaiyo

Kaiyō is a negotiant bottler started by a drinks group led by former Asahi employee Mr. Watanabe who was able to purchase "teaspooned" malt whisky barrels from an unnamed Japanese whisky supplier via his connections in the industry ("teaspooning" is when a distiller adds a teaspoon of another whisky into the barrel before selling it, thus preventing the purchaser from claiming it as a single malt from that distillery). The whiskies are purchased as teaspooned new make (unaged distillates) and then put into Japanese Mizunara oak barrels from Ariake, considered one of the best manufacturers in the world (each new Mizunara barrel costs between $6,500 - $7,500).

For those unfamiliar with the legend of Japanese Mizunara oak, it's become heralded in the whisky world both for the exotic flavours of incense, sandalwood, and coconut it passes along to the spirit, as well as its expense. Difficult to cooper and notoriously inefficient as a vessel, editions of Yamazaki and Bowmore aged in Mizunara wood have sold at four-figure prices, making the Kaiyō whiskies in comparison seem like a steal. The cask strength version of Kaiyō Mizunara is basically a stronger, more intense version of the regular edition with everything turned up. The orange peel notes and oak spices on the nose jump out of the glass, the sandalwood and vanilla are bold on the palate, and there's a lot more concentration of oak on the finish. It's a more expressive and intense version of the desired Mizunara influence.
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  1. KAIYO JAPANESE WHISKY (700ML)
    To break into the incredibly popular Japanese Whisky market, we wanted something that, just like our wine selection, would not only over-deliver in regard to complexity and flavour, but would also have a great story to accompany it. Kaiyō is ... Learn More
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    David Driscoll
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    Wine and Spirits Magazine
  2. KAIYO 'CASK STRENGTH' JAPANESE WHISKY (700ML)
    To break into the incredibly popular Japanese Whisky market, we wanted something that, just like our wine selection, would not only over-deliver in regard to complexity and flavour, but would also have a great story to accompany it. Kaiyō is ... Learn More
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    The Whiskey Wash
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    Jonny McCormick
  3. ONLINE TASTING PACK - WINTER WHISKY TASTING

    **THIS ONLINE TASTING IS OVER, BUT PACK STILL AVAILABLE**

    Join us for our first tasting of Spirits! We're expanding the range outside of wines, and what better to start within the middle of ... Learn More

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    Wine and Spirits Magazine
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