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Chivas Regal Mizunara Scotch Whiskey
Chivas Regal Mizunara Scotch Whiskey


 
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Our Price: $44.99
Size 750ML

Quantity in Stock:5
Product Code: CHIVAS-MIZUNARA-SCOTCH-WHISKEY
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Description
 
Chivas Regal Mizunara Scotch Whiskey Originally released for the Japanese market, this special edition of Chivas Regal blended Scotch whisky was inspired by a trip that Master Distiller Colin Scott took to Japan. Part of the blend was matured in Mizunara oak casks, which is rather rare in the whisky world but always intriguing.

Chivas Regal, a division of Pernod-Ricard, is releasing in the United States the first, blended Scotch whisky that has been partially finished in casks of rare, Japanese mizunara oak. The whisky was first released in Japan in October 2014. It has since been rolled out elsewhere, and is now available in the US. The expression appears to be based on the 12 YO Chivas Regal expression in the Chivas core range.

Mizunara oak, typically called Japanese oak, has been used for aging Japanese whiskies since about 1930. During the Second World War, Japanese whisky makers were unable to source supplies of European or American white oak, so they turned to a native oak variety instead. The term is derived from mizu (water) and nara (oak).

The “oak” is actually two different species; Quercus mongolica or Mongolian oak and Quercus crispula or Japanese oak. Both types of wood are utilized in barrel making. Mongolian oak is quite rare and slow growing. It takes about 300 years before a tree can be used to fashion barrels, compared to 100 years for the American white oak. Quercus crispula is slightly faster growing and can produce a useable tree after about 200 years.

Neither species grows straight, and both tend to have a lot of knot holes. A typical 100-year-old American white oak trunk will yield between 20% and 25% of its trunk into useable barrel staves. The yield from both Japanese and Mongolian oak is less than 10%.
Moreover, the oak wood tends to be soft and porous. Barrels made from it are prone to leaking and easily damaged. A new barrel of “mizunara oak” from Hokkaido, the region considered to produce the best quality wood, costs around $7,000 per barrel, almost 20 times the cost of a typical American bourbon barrel.

The wood typically imparts aromas and flavors of sandalwood and a kind of Japanese incense called kara to maturing whisky. Kara incense is made from the resin impregnated heartwood of the Aquilaria tree.

Compared to American and European oak species, Japanese oak is particularly high in trans-oak lactones and vanillins. These lactones, when dissolved in alcohol, can impart very strong coconut aromas, as well as notes of exotic spices.

Finishing whisky in mizunara casks has not been without some controversy. Many Japanese distillers argue that it takes at least 15 years of maturation in mizunara casks for the influence of the wood to truly manifest itself. Using mizunara casks to finish a whisky is dismissed as little more than a marketing gimmick.

Without question the full impact of mizunara cask maturation is far more evident in say the Suntory Yamasaki 18 Mizunara Cask, with its pronounced coconut and tropical fruit notes, than it is in whiskies that have just been finished in mizunara casks. Still, mizunara cask finishes do appear to impart some of the woods characteristic aromas and flavors.


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