Fancy finding out about Japanese whisky but don’t know where to start? ‘Japanese Whisky: The Ultimate Guide to the World’s Most Desirable Spirit’ certainly sounds like a good place to start. We chat to the author, Brian Ashcraft…
On the blog today we are delighted to have Brian Ashcraft, author of a beautiful book called Japanese Whisky: The Ultimate Guide to the World’s Most Desirable Spirit. It’s a brilliant introduction to a complicated subject and, just to make your life even easier, at the end Brian has picked his favourite Japanese whiskies from the Master of Malt range.
Hello, fellow whisky lover. You might’ve heard about a little thing called The Yamazaki Mizunara 18 Year Old. Well, we’ve been lucky enough to get our hands on six bottles – and this is what we’re gonna do with ’em.
Want to find out when this is all going down? See the timeline below.
If you’re not sure what all the faff is about, let us explain. This extraordinary bottling is a blend of single malt whiskies aged entirely in Mizunara casks for at least 18 years. Mizunara oak is only found in a few regions in Japan, so it’s pretty hard to come by; it’s also soft and porous, so it’s not particularly great at retaining liquid. Suntory Whisky persevered, and released just 1,000 bottles of this unbelievable whisky worldwide – of which we’re delighted to have six.
To say this bottling is highly sought-after is an understatement. It has an RRP of £1,000, but a quick Google search confirms that it’s going for way more than that already (Think double that price, or even more…), which is why we’ve decided to split our allocation between a 30ml dram lottery, a bottle lottery, and a charity auction.
This has been the case with rarities like this for the past few years (most recently, the hotly-anticipated Buffalo Trace Antique Collection 2017, and before that, the Yamazaki Sherry Cask Release, to name just a few). If you’re wondering what the hell we’re on about, we invite you to read this post for an in-depth explanation.
Jim Murray has announced the winners in this year’s Whisky Bible, with a rye claiming top spot for the second year running and a Scotch whisky in the top three for the first time since 2014.
Following on from Crown Royal’s Northern Harvest Canadian rye, it’s an American rye whiskey that’s been named World Whisky of the Year in Jim Murray’s Whisky Bible this time around: Booker’s ‘Big Time Batch’, aged for 13 years, 1 month and 12 days. Laid down by the legendary Booker Noe himself in 2003, shortly before his death, his son continued to watch over the casks and they were finally released earlier this year. Booker’s first ever rye, it was already described by Beam as an “extremely rare, limited edition offering, made from a very limited number of barrels” and will now become an even more sought-after bottling.
We take a look at the Yamazaki distillery and its history, and taste a few choice single malt expressions from the renowned Japanese distillery.
The Yamazaki distillery. Maybe you’ve heard of it. If you’re a whisky fan, it’s highly likely that you’re well aware of this legendary Japanese distillery and might have even tasted some of their spectacular Japanese single malt whisky. We’re shining a spotlight on Yamazaki today, so if you want to find out more about the distillery, you’ve come to the right place!
- 1897 Quinine Gin is made with cold distilled cinchona bark and citrus peels.
- Over half the producer’s profit (at least £5 per bottle) donated to Malaria No More UK.
- Saturday 20th August is World Mosquito Day, marking 119 years since the link between malaria transmission and mosquitoes was discovered in 1897.
This Saturday is World Mosquito Day. It’s the anniversary of the day on which Indian-born British Medical Doctor Sir Ronald Ross discovered the malarial parasite in the gut of a female mosquito in 1897. “With tears and toiling breath, I find thy cunning seeds, O million-murdering Death. I know this little thing A myriad men will save.” Ross was subsequently able to establish the complete life cycle of the parasite and lay the foundation for fighting the disease ever since, saving millions of lives.
- The Wolfburn Inaugural Special Edition auction bottles are up to £1,700 each with just a few hours to go until the hammer claps down at 14:00 BST today!
- After tax, everything raised over the £200 RRP will be donated to Malaria No More UK.
- Every £5 raised is enough to buy, deliver and hang a mosquito net for a family living at risk from malaria in Africa – protecting their children whilst they sleep.
UPDATE: A total of £3,066.66 was raised for Malaria No More UK through the auction!
We’re on the home straight of our Wolfburn Inaugural Special Edition auction and the two available bottles of this brilliant single malt are up to £1,700 each with just a few hours left to go!
The bottle auction runs until 14:00 BST (GMT+1) today and everything raised over the RRP of £200 (net of any applicable VAT) will be donated to Malaria No More UK. This will support the charity’s tremendous work protecting millions of children and their families as well as unlocking funds and leveraging government policy to help bring an end to this preventable and treatable disease. Our previous auction for the Yamazaki Sherry Cask 2016 raised £2,800 for the charity, with these bottles set to top that figure!
We’re splitting our allocation of Wolfburn Inaugural Special Edition single malt whisky between a bottle lottery, an auction (with anything over RRP donated to our nominated charity Malaria No More UK) and a 3cl dram lottery. See the timeline below for when all this is going down.
Back in March we introduced a new solution for limited releases (you can read that post for a lot more information on the ‘why?’). It’s now time to put that into practice once again, this time for the Wolfburn Inaugural Special Edition. Just 875 bottles were produced, with only 100 available in the UK, and the whiskies used were selected by Distillery Manager Shane Fraser from some of the very first casks filled back in early 2013. Some liquid history from the new northernmost distillery on the Scottish mainland!
So, what to do with the 6 bottles – for which there’s sure to be huge demand – that we now have available having received our full allocation and updated our auction system?
Now that the action is over, it’s time to let you know how it all went…
To recap, our allocation of Yamazaki Sherry Cask 2016 was 6 bottles, so we decided to have 4 bottles turned into Drinks by the Dram 3cl samples (drams) with a lottery that would give 90 people the chance to taste it, 1 bottle available through another lottery (with a nice message scribbled on the back to encourage the winner to crack it open), and 1 final unadulterated bottle was auctioned (with everything over the RRP of £200 going to charity). Much more on the ‘Why?’ can be found in the previous Yamazaki Sherry Cask post: Allocations, limited releases, bastards, speculators and gobshites.
Categories : News
We last talked about this when we knackered up the release of the Buffalo Trace Antique Collection back in November, but, well, there have been quite a lot of comments on the product page we’ve set up for the Yamazaki Sherry Cask Release Japanese Whisky (we don’t censor these, remember).
What a festive season it’s been already! It’s been my absolute pleasure to grant 56 wishes (one every day since 30th October), and that’s not all! There have been plenty of other Christmas pressies, giveaways and special offers – a word on those Ask #WhiskySanta wishes first though… I received over 13,000 wishes in total and a big thank you to all of you for spreading the good word (#WhiskySanta was delivered to twitter timelines over 9.1 million times during the period!).