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Hanyu, 2000-2013, Ichiro's Malt The Game 5, Cask No. 1302, Mizunara Wood Finish, 197/299, 59.5% abv.


Hanyu, 2000-2013, Ichiro's Malt The Game 5,  Cask No. 1302, Mizunara Wood Finish, 197/299, 59.5% abv.

According to some rare and interesting food science research, mizunara oak supposedly has some compounds also found in coconuts and thus imparts some coconut flavors and aromas in whisky distillate. But I've also heard from bartenders in Japan that it takes a long time for mizunara oak to make any noticeable contribution to whisky (even though it's porous), implying mizunara oak finished whiskies, especially ones finished for a short period, would have little evidence of mizunara flavors or aromas. I haven't had enough mizunara-influenced anything to know.

Nose: when my nostrils are close it's half burnt toast and half raisins, very similar to that Ichiro's malt bourbon cask finish. When my nose is at a distance, its mostly apple juice, minor grape juice.

Palate: very dry, good body, sour, very strange, like a type of thai spice I had, hints of cumin residue? Lawry's prime rib au jus? Yeah... a combination of a unique thai spice, Lawry's prime rib au jus, old raisins, and some other fruits. Am I drunk?

Finish: spice and then super dried raisin, old prunes flavor. All this disappears after a few sips and within a few seconds.

This bottle is usually 99% gone at every Japanese bar I've been to. Like everyone else has described, the tasting experience is a little strange as I'm not sure whats going on. It's tending more towards super dried grapes or concentrated versions of it, not really butter, not really incense, not really tea, not really sandalwood (actually I don't know what sandalwood is), and not really coconut as other tasters have described, then again my palate was always a little strange (I think sake is super sweet and coffee is really bitter). What happened?

Grade: B

Thejapanesewhiskyreview, Dramtastic, 91/100


Image courtesy of Eric Yee.


Eric Yee

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