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A Tasting With Yamazaki’s 18-Year-Old Mizunara Cask

03/10/2017

 

This November we'll be opening a bottle of the Yamazaki 18-Year-Old Mizunara cask, one of the year's most anticipated releases.

It’s commonplace for a whisky drinker to have a unicorn - their ultimate bottle, which, virtually unobtainable, they’ll spend years searching for.

For some, the search will end happily. They’ll find it at an obscure bottle store, forgotten about and covered in dust behind at the back of the shelf, or it’ll be behind the bar in some small town local available by the pour.

Very rarely though, will a whisky become a unicorn for thousands of people around the world before anyone’s tasted it. Such is the demand and clamour for Japanese whisky, that Yamazaki’s 18-Year-Old Mizunara Cask 2017 Release is a unicorn before it’s even begun.

The latest in Suntory’s series of limited releases, which have in the past involved the Yamazaki Sherry Cask 2013 and 2016 editions, Yamazaki Puncheon, Hakushu Heavily Peated etc., we have been inundated with requests from customers since it was first announced in July.

By the time September came around the release was confirmed for October in Japan and the US, the waitlist had swelled to well over 50 names.

Unfortunately, our allocation is the grand total of three bottles and, yes, the first two people on the list have taken up the opportunity to purchase the bottle ($1,600 was the price, incidentally).

We’re not complaining though, it’s a privilege – not a right – to receive any allocation at all, especially when the Japanese market is being allocated via ballot.

As such, there’s only one responsible course of action for the remaining bottle of Yamazaki 18-Year-Old Mizunara Cask 2017, and that is to open it and share it with as many people as possible.

That’s exactly what we’ll be doing Tuesday 21 November in The Oak Barrel’s Cellar Room, in a night that will not only celebrate this very special release, but Japanese whisky as a whole.

With the Mizunara as our centrepiece, we’ll also be cracking the regular – but illusive – Yamazaki 18-Year-Old and the Hakushu 18-Year-Old. Keeping with the Mizunara theme, we’ll also be tacking the Ichiro’s Malt Mizunara Wood Reserve, from one of Japan’s most exciting new distilleries, Chichibu.

They’ll be complemented by two other whiskies we’re currently hunting now and will confirm when we’ve got them in our hands, ready to go.

Hopefully it will help a few more of you try this whisky, which is destined to skyrocket in price on the secondary market, and maybe you’ll discover something new along the way.

What we’ll be trying:

Yamazaki 18-Year-Old Mizunara Cask 2017 Release
Yamazaki 18-Year-Old
Hakushu 18-Year-Old
Ichiro’s Malt Mizunara Wood Reserve
Whisky 5 TBC
Whisky 6 TBC

WHAT: A Night With Yamazaki’s 18-Year-Old Mizunara Cask
WHERE: The Oak Barrel, 152 Elizabeth St, Sydney 2000
WHEN: Tuesday 21 November 2017, 6.15pm for a 6.30pm start
PRICE: Members $125 / Non-Members $140
TICKETS:SOLD OUT - Join the waitlist for final tickets by emailing scott@oakbarrel.com.au.

Bottle pictures by May Lawrence.

Scott Fitzsimons