A delicious Malt Whisky blend aged in ex-Bourbon and rare mizunara oak.
Kaiyo Whisky is an enigma wrapped in a mystery. Technically, the company has been around for a dozen years or more. Ownership is entangled in a series of shell corporations and cross-border ownership groups with legal status in Delaware. They started gathering Malt Whisky Spirits for aging — funded by extremely wealthy folks who wish to remain on the sidelines, sipping their drams in comfortable anonymity. We do know that the Master Blender is Jeffrey Karlovitch — CEO of The Lost Distillery Company. We also know that they are collecting "teaspoon" blends of double distilled malt Spirits aged to perfection and finished in rare mizunara oak.
Kaiyo The Single is a seven year-old malt Spirit. The vast majority comes from a single distillery in Japan with just a splash of other malt mixed in. It was initially aged in ex-Bourbon casks for approximately three years, then finished in rare, EXPENSIVE mizunara oak casks for four more years. Given the complicated aging process, re-barreling, and finishing process — some of which may take place away from the distillery — it’s not proper to call it a Japanese Whisky at all. But the result is incredibly smooth and complex and bottled at 48% ABV without chill-filtration.
Smartass corner #1:
The Japanese word "kaiyo" translates as "ocean," reflecting the aging at sea process used to finish many of their Spirits.
Smartass corner #2:
When a distillery has excess capacity, flooding the market can damage the brand. So can allowing word to get out that your premium Spirit is in a cheaper dram. A "teaspoon" Whisky is where the distillery sells bulk to an independent bottler but requires that a small amount — at least a teaspoon — of other Whiskies are in the mix so it must be legally labeled a blend.