This $1,000 Single Malt Scotch Aged in Japanese Oak Casks Is The Best of Both Worlds

East meets West in one hell of a whiskey.

Among single malt connoisseurs, Bowmore is highly prized by those who enjoy arrhythmia-inducing amounts of peat smoke. And far from feeling threatened by the ever-increasing reputations of fine Japanese whiskies, which are winning both accolades and market share from their Scottish forebears, the Islay spirit is honoring the Land of the Rising Sun with a new limited edition release. 

Bowmore Mizunara Cask Finish, priced at $1,000 a bottle, is the first-ever Islay single malt to be matured in hand-crafted Japanese Mizunara oak casks, which are highly coveted, very expensive, and have to be shipped 6,000 miles to Scotland.

It was no small feat for Bowmore to secure the casks, which Japanese distillers are understandably reluctant to part with. The Mizunara oak trees grow for up to 300 years before they can be made into casks using ancient cooperage techniques passed down over generations of Japanese whiskey makers.

Once filled with Bowmore spirit, the precious casks were matured in Bowmore’s legendary No.1 vaults. Bowmore notes the mellow Japanse oak tames its “tempestuous mix of peat smoke, spice, vanilla and citrus fruit.” 

The result combines a “spicy, mellow taste of sweet vanilla, cedar wood, exotic mango and honey rose blossom” with a refined blend of “floral spice and fragrant smoke, carried on a fresh ocean breeze.” 

Make ours a double.