Thursday, January 9, 2014

Ichiro's Malt The Game 5th Edition for Shinanoya: Hanyu 2000/2013 Mizunara Finish

Cask# 1302 - Bottle No. 252/299 - ABV: 59.5%

Nose: Lovely, full of complexity. Not necessarily in order but my nose was seduced with sandalwood shavings, rich pot-pourri, jasmine tea, and aromatic wood fragrances. Past the Mizunara influence things begin to change with gingerbread, spiced cinnamon rolls, musk candy, and lavender cookies. For me it didn’t stop here! Continuing on with hints of eucalyptus and perhaps rocky road (mellow marshmallow/raspberry), creaming soda, and at times a note similar to that of white wine? Then, grist, yeast, and sweet potato cake aromas. A few drops of water unexpectedly added a mellow banana liqueur and hints of star anise. Soft tree fruits.

Taste: Sandalwood, cinnamon bark, aromatic wood spice, wood varnish, leather, and fresh spicy ginger syrup. Charismatic malt with grilled ginkgo seeds sprinkled with Sansho pepper and soft tree fruits. Water truly expresses the Mizunara influence, well…what I consider to be associated with Mizunara: oriental spice and again aromatic wood, sandalwood chips, followed by fresh pickled ginger.

Finish: Certainly clings to your tongue in a rewarding way. Naturally aromatic wood is there: creamy sandalwood and spicy oak. Moderate to long with pickled ginger, ginkgo seeds, leather, and Sansho pepper still in play before ending in slight menthol/eucalyptus mocha.

Comment: Persevere and let this sit for a length of time and it becomes quite silky in a way. A truly exceptional Hanyu, which I adore though, if it must be said, regardless of it being from a closed distillery and the series having equally cult status, perhaps some may not agree with the premium RRP price that was set. If I’m not mistaken the 5th edition is the most expensive to date? Perhaps many would argue it is a small price to pay for liquid history? I think I will completely finish my bottle before I consider the former or the later. Right now I’m enjoying it too much to think anything else.

Note: Naturally, like you all do with your whiskies, I didn’t assess the first or even the second dram. Like all my reviews the above notes came from the 3rd and 4th review combined. Of course there were consistent components all the way, but for a true understanding of this malt really get behind it.


  1. Lovely!
    This sounds like a lucious dram!

  2. I have been waiting for this review. I have a bottle but unfortunately I have to wait until I can pick it up over on that side of the pond. I am now even more anxious to get my hands on it!

    1. I think you'll enjoy this Chris. Hard not to really. When is your next visit across the pond?

    2. If I go this year - not until Summer.

  3. Replies
    1. Yes I bought this Brian. I thought I mentioned to you that I will be opening something special on NY's, and that a sample will go your way. Check your emails ;) The only time I review something without actually purchasing a bottle is when I receive samples from you or Pierre W :)