Top 20 Whiskies of 2019

#14 • Kaiyō Mizunara Oak

  • Rank: 14
  • Year: 2019
  • Score: 92
  • Price: $60
  • ABV: 43%
  • Style: Malt Whisky
  • Place of Origin: Japan

Mizunara oak is the modern signature of Japanese whisky, and Kaiyo- whisky enables inquisitive imbibers to savor the spice, incense, and sandalwood flavors of this rare wood for an attractive price. Distilled and matured in Japan, the casks then undergo a three-month ocean voyage from Osaka to Liverpool before bottling to encourage further flavorsome interactions. Ground spices, vanilla sponge cake, honey, brown sugar cubes, and scents of aromatic woods and incense. Pastry, egg custard, and allspice flavors, followed by a wave of vanilla creaminess and a lengthy finish with fading spices. —Jonny McCormick