Scotch whisky cask channels spirit of the Samurai

A Scotch whisky cask has play its part in creating a Mizunara Japanese oak finished private label whisky.

The world’s foremost online retailer of Japanese whisky, dekanta, have revealed the drink, inspired by a Japanese military leader, to mark their fourth anniversary.

This private label, single cask whisky from dekanta, home to the world’s largest online inventory of Japanese whisky, has spent time maturing in a cask freshly emptied of Scotch whisky from the closed Port Ellen distillery, before being finished in a cask of Japanese Mizunara oak.

The Eigashima 2011 Kigai – Ki Series (USD $749.99; 60% ABV) is a highly limited release of only 352 bottles. dekanta unveiled the design of the new bottling as part of an exclusive event in central Tokyo, which was streamed to their online audience. It is the second release in the Ki Series of Japanese whiskies, the first of which was the Eigashima 2011 Kikou – Ki Series.

The Eigashima 2011 Kigai is the second in the Ki Series of independently bottled Japanese whiskies from dekanta, so called because each whisky in the series will explore an aspect of life imbued with the Japanese concept of Ki – one of the most meaningful words in the Japanese language. The label and packaging is inspired by a Shogun military leader of the Samurai caste, and is so named Kigai, meaning ‘strong, willful and unshakeable’ in Japanese.

dekanta director Makiyo Masa said: ‘In releasing our fourth anniversary whisky, we wanted to bring together Japanese whisky history with powerful aspects of wider Japanese cultural history.

‘The Kigai pays homage to the Scottish education of the “Father of Japanese Whisky’ Masataka Taketsuru with its smoky Port Ellen influence, while bringing the whisky firmly back into Japanese territory by the influence of the archetypal Japanese Mizunara wood. The Mizunara tree is the warrior of the Japanese forest, a difficult oak to work with, but a rare jewel imbued with Kigai, and so it brings the spirit of the Samurai to our second private bottling.’

The tasting notes say the nose offers up buttered toast, lemon zest, cereals, unripened pineapple and varnished oak. Sweet poached pears warm the palate, followed by fruit pastilles, sugared almonds and chilli jam. The sweetness is balanced by gentle hints of peat smoke and subtle wasabi spice that grow in the background. A touch of water brings juicy peach and bolder peaty notes. Building smoke carries a finish of gentle oakiness, hints of green chilli and white pepper spice.

Eigashima 2011 (Kigai – Ki Series) is available for worldwide delivery from

dekanta offers the world’s largest online selection of authentic Japanese spirits and, since the opening of its online store in 2015, has delivered to 127 countries across every continent in the world.

A family owned and run business, dekanta’s founders have been selling collectibles since 1985 and specializs in rare, collectible, and new release single malt Japanese whisky. dekanta offers worldwide delivery on an extensive range of Japanese single malt whisky, Japanese grain whisky and Japanese blended whisky, in addition to Scotch whisky released for the Japanese market only. More recently, Japanese wine has been introduced through the dekanta Cellar, and spirits from wider Asia through dekanta Oriental.