The Matsui, Mizunara cask claimed the prestigious world’s Best Japanese Single Malt award with a rating of 95/100 in the Jim Murray’s Whisky Bible 2020.
Every year Murray releases his annual Whisky Bible, naming the best whiskies across each and every category from Irish and Japanese to single malt Scotch and European. Jim Murray is the world’s most renowned independent whisky expert.
THE MATSUI- Single Malt Whisky Mizunara cask is distilled by the Kurayoshi distillery, Kurayoshi city -Tottori prefecture.
Double distilled in pot stills then aged in Mizunara oak casks. Mizunara is known for its rarity and the difficulty to work its tight grain to make barrels. Spirits aged in this
type of oak gain unique and original flavors.
Aging takes place in the rural prefecture of Tottori in a very favorable climate for optimal aging. It is then diluted down with high quality natural spring water from nearby Mont Daisen.
Mizunara oak. It has a curious ring to it. Scarcer than European and American oak, and much more expensive, its story is deeply rooted in Japanese history.
Mizunara needs to be around 200 years old before it can be cut and made into casks. When left to mature correctly, a Mizunara-aged whisky offers complex notes of sandalwood, coconut, spice and Japanese incense.
There is a fragility to this aroma almost unmatched in the whisky world: the malt is sharp and brittle, the sweetness limited to no more than a hint of marzipan. » (Jim Murray’s Whisky bible, 2020, p.299)