Japanese oak, also referred to as Mizunara oak, is probably the rarest component from which whisky barrels can be made. Due to the slow growth and knotted stature of the respective trees, the processing of this kind of wood requires excellent craftmanship, significant capital and a good amount of patience. When you fill your spirit into such a cask, however, you will be rewarded with an out-of-the-ordinary pour that brims with spicy cinnamon notes and fruity coconut relishes. Such an experience comes at a price though. While entry-level bottlings with a Mizunara finish already cost a low three-figure sum, a single malt that was fully matured in such casks can rarely be found for less than a thousand bucks. So most of us will not get to taste the Mizunara magic all too often. Unless we grab a bottle of this special edition by Chivas Regal. Selling for ~70 Euro per unit, it is the most affordable “Mizunara-touched” whisky on the market; at least to my knowledge. As you can imagine when you look at the price, this easily sippable blend was neither fully matured nor fully finished in Japanese oak. Instead, it contains a portion of Mizunara-refined whisky in its recipe. While this is certainly not enough to offer “the real deal”, it still gives you an idea of what these casks do to the the spirit they contain. So if you wonder what all the fuzz is about, this light-in-character Scotch whisky by Chivas Brothers marks an excellent threshold bootling. It looks beautiful, tastes great and lets you join “Team Mizunara” without having to sell an arm and a leg.
Eye: Shining copper with a good dose of gold thrown into the mix.
Nose: Very mellow and tender. This special edition of Chivas Regal, which as partly matured amidst Japanese oak, gently caresses your nostrils with the soft scent of vanilla, caramel, coconut, almonds and orange zest.
Palate: No bite, no burn. This is as smooth a whisky as you can find. It is light in the mouth and tastes of freshly cracked coconuts, sugar-coated peanuts, dried mint leaves and warm pastry.
Finish: Although the well orchestrated finish of the Chivas Regal Mizunara is not too long, it is very pleasant and makes you want to have more. It is primarily sweet with woody and herby undertones.
Type: Blended Scotch Whisky
Age: 12 years
Alc. volume: 40%
Bottle size: 0.7 litres
Price range: ~70.00 Euro
More info: https://www.chivas.com/ (Website)