The Minty’s Whiskey Week: Kaiyo Japanese Whisky

Kaiyo Japanese Whisky



How can it be The Minty’s Whiskey Week without including one Japanese whisky? I recently tried Kaiyo, a Japanese whisky aged in mizunara oak. I learned the whisky is sourced from two distilleries but upon further research, it’s actually a practice called “teaspooning.” That is, when a distiller adds a teaspoon of whisky from another distillery so the buyer can’t claim it as a single malt.

Kaiyo is owned by one of the richest men in Japan. He owns a forest of mizunara oak trees making it an easy financial decision to age the whisky in Japanese oak. It’s truly a Japanese whisky; distilled and aged in Japan in Japanese oak.

From left to right, it was described to us as “breakfast, lunch and dinner.”

Kaiyo (black label) – you’ll see this one on the market. I’ve noticed it at Japanese grocery stores but have been wary to buy because I didn’t know the background yet. Now I’d be happy to purchase.

Kaiyo (cream label) – this one was my favorite. I really could drink this at lunch (and really all meals).

Kaiyo (orange label) – this one is peated. The peat does come from Scotland but I still think of it as so very Japanese.

Kaiyo is going to give Nikka a run of its money as my new favorite Japanese whisky. I’d love to try it in an Old Fashioned or Manhattan cocktail. Or perhaps just stick to drinking it neat.


Kaiyo Japanese Whisky


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