‘Ocean-matured’ Japanese blends reach UK

by Owen Bellwood

A new range of Japanese blended malts have been launched following a three-month sea voyage from Japan to the UK in mizunara oak casks.

Kaiyō, which means 'ocean' in Japanese, is a blend of Japanese spirits that were first aged in Japan before being transported in mizunara oak casks to the UK. As they travel by ship, the casks will be subject to changing conditions affecting movement, temperature and air pressure, which the brand believes will impact the maturation of the whisky. The liquid will be blended and bottled once it reaches the UK. Initially, the brand has launched three expressions; Kaiyō Japanese Mizunara Oak Whisky (43% abv), a cask strength bottling (53% abv), and a peated expression (46% abv). On the nose, the brand’s Mizunara Oak Whisky is described as being “delicate with vanilla, ripe dried fruit and hints of cherry”, while the cask strength bottling is said to have a “lovely balance of fruit, silky malt and a touch of dark chocolate”. Kaiyō’s peated expression has a sweet peat smokey nose and “hints of nuts, sweet fruit and honey”. Kaiyō will be distributed in the UK by importer and wholesaler New Generation.