Dining & Wine

A Japanese Oak Is The Secret To This Special Irish Whiskey  

December 20, 2022

A new, special-edition Glendalough single-malt Irish whiskey—the latest to the brand’s already impressive lineup—is truly a stellar sipper, thanks to an ultra-unique Japanese material called Mizunara.

Here’s what you need to know. The drink is aged for seven years, first in American oak bourbon casks and then, to finish, in Japanese Mizunara oak casks. The rare Mizunara oak tree is the most sought-after wood in the Irish whiskey world, and Glendalough is the first to use it for casks. The Mizunara name translates to “water oak,” because it holds so much moisture, but that also means it takes three years to dry before it’s suitable for cask-making. This exotic oak tree grows to be about 200 years old, with a fabulous, twisted trunk.   

The resulting product, Glendalough 7 Year Old Mizunara Cask, is lively but has a delicate depth as well; fruity, and floral on the nose, with dark chocolate, orange and sandalwood notes. Awards? Most certainly. This whiskey won double gold at the San Francisco World Spirits Competition 2022. Fans of this spirit will surely enjoy delving into the way in which Mizunara oak subtly shifts how we think Irish whiskey should taste. Add a bottle to your liquor cabinet while you can. —Catherine Dunwoody



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