Whisky, '11 Year - Mizunara Cask', Ohishi Distillery
Ohishi Distillery was founded in 1872, located in the Southwest of Japan, in a beautifully mountainous and scenic countryside. Ohishi sits near the tiny village of Mizukami, and is the closest distillery to the source of the Kuma River, one of the fastest flowing rivers in all of Japan, renowned and prized for its superior water quality. Ohishi has been a family business for five generations, primarily known for its sake & shochu production.
Ohishi Whisky is distilled entirely from rice. In order to ensure the quality of the spirit, the Master Distiller utilizes 30% estate grown grain for distillation, with the remaining 70% of rice (Mochi) coming from the surrounding Kumamoto prefecture. Weeds in the estate rice paddies are controlled, by the employment of koi fish to swim about the grass and nibble the invasive plants. Varieties of estate-grown rice include Hino hikari, Mori no kuma-san, Yamada Nishiki, Gohyaku Mangoku, and Gin no Sato. Because of the rice’s efficient and subsequent clean fermentation, Ohishi uses a pot still made from stainless steel, as opposed to copper.
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An excellent example of the intimate connection between rice whisky and the vessel in which it’s aged, this expression from Ohishi was matured in brandy casks for 9 years and then finished in Mizunara—highly prized Japanese Oak—for a minimum of 2 years, lending a soft, sandalwood quality to the whisky. The Mizunara casks were coopered at Ariake Sangyo in Myazaki prefecture near the distillery, continuing the sense of place we’ve come to expect from Ohishi. 42% ABV