The Odd Couple: Bowmore’s Mizunara Cask Finish

Today’s random information…  Mizunara is a type of Japanese oak tree.  “Nara” referring to Japanese oak and “mizu” meaning water.  Wood from this particular oak contains a high amount of moisture, thus the name.  A stout wood with a striking grain pattern, Mizunara oak is widely used in furniture, flooring and various utensils.
What in the world does this have to do with single-malt scotch…?  Absolutely nothing…!

Or does it…?
One Iain McCallum, who at the time was the blending team leader at the Bowmore distillery, was inspired to go out on a limb… 

Japanese oak, that is… 
After a great deal of effort, McCallum was able to secure barrels of the oak and have them shipped 6,000 miles to Islay.  Once in house, a batch of Bowmore’s bourbon and sherry-aged whiskies were finished in the Japanese oak for a bit over three years.  Total aging is reported to be approximately 25 years for the spirit, but Bowmore has not listed it on the bottles.

Ready for consumption, only 2,000 bottles are now available for purchase. 
So, what’s it like…?

The scotch hits you first with a nose of fresh spice and a mellow, honeyed-sweetness.  A taste brings along that spice, as well as woody, smoky qualities and floral notes.  Even a hint of mango resides on the finish.  It is all tied together with a certain creaminess that you won’t find elsewhere, another byproduct of the aging in Mizunara.
Is the single-malt connoisseur intrigued?  You should be!  Track a bottle down now and cut that check for $1,000.  You won’t be sorry…