Bowmore Mizunara Cask Finish – an investor’s wet dream

Bowmore Mizunara Cask

#EastMeetsWest

That hashtag was how I was first introduced to Bowmore Mizunara Cask Finish. A teasing Japanese Himitsu Bako puzzle box arrived on my desk, with a note to share a photo of the box on Instagram or Twitter using #EastMeetsWest in order to receive instructions on how to open it. Cue a frantic search for my phone which was somewhere on my cluttered desk, me stubbing my toe on my desk chair, many, many swear words and eventually a rather heavily filtered photo of the box.

Now, without wishing to sound like an utter smug bastard, I know how these boxes work. With a bit of pushing, pulling and sheer bloody-mindedness I popped the box open, and boy was the whisky as impressive as the marketing stunt. This bottling is limited to 2000 bottles and will retail at £750 when it’s available on allocation from September 1st. Pretty damn pricey for an NAS bottling, despite considering its uniqueness of being finished for at least three years in Japanese mizunara oak and being bottled at cask strength (read Oliver Klimek’s piece here for a more in depth look at the numbers). Apparently all the whisky is 1990 distillations meaning it’s between 15 and 25 years old (why avoid an age statement then?). Still hugely on the high side for me, but here goes…

Bowmore Mizunara Cask Finish
2000 bottles only
53.9% ABV
£750

Nose: Lavender honey, heather and toasted rosemary notes give this whisky a herbaceous start. Then candied pineapple, singed orange peel, ripe bananas and dried apricot. A creaminess comes through, possible vanilla fudge, before sandalwood and some dark chocolate emerge. Eventually soft smoke and rockpools can be found. Beautiful.

Palate: A real salty, briney tingle to start. Possible even a hint of wasabi prickle. Then lime zest, white grapes, and peaches emerge. Given a few seconds this whisky really changes on the palate, with cinnamon, clove, soft smoke, leather and matchsticks becoming dominant.

Finish: Long, with leather, wood tannins, rich spices and mild peat.

Overall: Impressive. Very impressive. But I simply cannot ignore the astronomical asking price. Yes it’s cask strength, yes it’s finished in mizunara oak and yes, it’s fucking tasty, but I fail to see how a 15-25 year old whisky can be valued at £750 a pop. It may well turn out to be the new Devil’s Casks – that rather sexy Bowmore fetched several-fold its asking price at online auctions as soon as the bottles sold out. I fear the Mizunara Cask Finish will become a collector’s/investor’s wet dream as no doubt it’ll be worth at least £1,500 once the 2,000 bottles are snapped up. This is a real shame, as the liquid is simply too good to sit on a shelf and be admired. It’s fucking delicious and, after all, whisky is made for drinking, not looking at.

Tiger

 

Comments

  1. Hi Tiger+,

    Nice article! I first saw about this in the local news at:
    http://www.straitstimes.com/lifestyle/food/rare-east-meets-west-whisky

    How does one invest in such whisky?

    Thanks,
    Derrick

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