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17 Nov 2023 | Jeremy Dugan


We’ve been carrying Kaiyo Japanese Whiskies since at least 2018 and what has always impressed me about any expression I have had from the Distillery is the elegance and development of flavors inside the bottle. One could say using Mizunara Oak as their main aging vessel is a big part of that flavor component. The very porous oak allows the liquid to get deep into the wood, letting it to pull more flavor out than traditional American Oak or French Limousin Oak. But Kaiyo recently released three Limited Edition Expressions that show they can make beautifully layered Whiskies no matter the vessel.

While all three releases of Limited Edition do spend time in Mizunara Oak (can’t go completely away from what makes you, you) each one also spends significant time in another barrel which gives the liquid its own characteristics. These are very Whiskies that I was lucky enough to get a few cases of each of. One case is only six bottles, so not like I have a whole lot, but more than some. I say that to let whoever reads this know DON’T SLEEP ON THESE!! When they are gone, they are gone and won’t be back.

The Ramu- $72.99 per bottle

Aged for 8 years in Mizunara Oak and finished in Rum barrels. Toasted toffee and soft tropical fruit up front. Delicate notes of dark chocolate leads to light floralness. Vibrant baking spices pair with hints of vanilla and honey.

The Rye- $84.99 per bottle

Aged for 5 years in Mizunara Oak and 5 years in Knob Creek Rye barrels, 10 years total. Honey coats the palate and brings out rich stone fruit characteristics. Light rye spice leads to hints of fennel. Soft coco and light shortbread on the finish.

The Unicorn- $100.99 per bottle

Aged for 5 years in Mizunara Oak and 5 years in Ex-Bourbon barrels (ask Jeremy for details), 10 years total. Tons of rich tropical fruit up front leads to hints of brown sugar and floral spice notes. Rich butterscotch pairs with honey, baking spices create a dry finish, letting fruit linger on the palate.

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