Best Bottles: The Matsui Single Malt Whisky Mizunara Cask
The Japanese whisky segment is extremely hot.
If you don’t know why and have yet to try one, this Japanese-oak aged single malt from the up-and-coming new distillery The Matsui is the perfect place to start. It’s pale in the glass, and the nose packs enticing floral notes, vanilla, toffee and other sweetness plus a hint of spice and coconut. It is exceptionally smooth on the palate even when sampled at its high bottled strength (48 per cent ABV). A splash of water renders it certifiably silky, opens up the floral notes and softens the gentle rumble of its compellingly long finish. The distinct, sweet and woody notes of its Japanese oak are seductive. No wonder this exceptional whisky won double gold at the San Francisco World Spirits Competition upon its 2019 release. It was also named Japanese Whisky of the Year in Jim Murray’s Whisky Bible 2020. The accumulating awards have made it almost impossible to track down in the U.K., which makes its modest price here (for quality single malt) even more attractive. $130 (700 ml)