In the world of whisky, Japan is finally starting to see some competition. As much as I love Suntory and Nikka, it’s been a delight to see whiskies from the likes of Ohishi make it to the U.S. Now another new player has entered the game. Kaiyo, which has a story as interesting as any distillery I’ve heard of. Kaiyō Peated Japanese Whiskey launched in limited release in September 2018 and is now rolling out nationally. Sweet Peat. Smokey nose with hints of nuts, sweet fruit and honey. A Sweet long drying finish.
For starters: Kaiyō Peated Japanese Whiskey is double-distilled, 100% malt whisky, but it’s not single malt. Colloquially known as “teaspooned malt,” it is called such because it is largely from a single distillery in Japan, with a (theoretically) small amount of whisky coming from another producer. Teaspooning is done to prevent the purchaser of a barrel from claiming it is 100% from a certain source and thus unable to put said source’s name on their label and it’s a practice that isn’t unique to Japan.
The distillery’s research into the effect of wood selection on whisky maturation has led to the development of bespoke barrels, crafted from slow growth, air seasoned wood. These casks are handmade due to the Mizunara Oak’s delicate wood grain, and are the most expensive casks in the world and are generally considered the finest for aging whisky. Kaiyō Peated Japanese Whiskey has a peat level of 35ppm, and is non-chill filtered.
A fruity, zesty and softly-smoky Japanese whisky, matured in mizunara oak casks. Aromas of orange peel, jasmine, soft cedar and coastal air fill the nose. The palate of Kaiyō Peated Japanese Whiskey offers notes of earthy coffee, green apples, black tea and fresh herbs, with hints of cinnamon pastries and mango that linger in the finish.