Bottled beauty and a ‘study in oak’ from the East Asia Whisky Company

Independent bottler the East Asia Whisky Company is making a name finishing hard-to-find whiskies in Mizunara oak - before packaging them in Japan-inspired cases as beautiful as they are collectable

Words by Club Oenologique Editors In partnership with East Asia Whisky Company

East Asia Whisky Company bottle close up
The 1990 Bowmore Mizunara Single-Cask #3969 (Photo: Xavier Young)

Established in 2016, the East Asia Whisky Company sources the finest casks of Scotch and Japanese whisky, as well as Caribbean rum, and bottles them under its brand using unique concepts, high-quality materials and minimalist designs that appeal to the senses with their textured finishes. Packaged in European walnut and adorned with a laser-etched Japanese cloud pattern on both the box and the decanter, the 1990 Bowmore Mizunara Single-Cask (#3969) is emblematic of the independent bottler’s mission to bring meticulously curated and crafted releases to lovers of fine spirits.

This particular Scotch is finished in Japanese Mizunara oak seasoned with 25-year-old Pedro Ximénez Sherry for over two years, before receiving a final finish in one of the company’s virgin Mizunara casks, with wood sourced from Hokkaido and dried for three years before being made into a cask. Blind tastings of the spirit resulted in a Gold Outstanding Medal at the IWSC 2023, with judges praising its lavender and tropical fruit flavours, accompanied by notes of marzipan, treacle, and hints of sweet spice and rose. The complex finish features the suggestion of smoke and sandalwood; by design, it showcases the distinctive character of Mizunara oak.

This whisky has an award-winning sister cask (#3974) too, born on the same day but aged for 30 years in an Oloroso Sherry hogshead cask. This unique ‘study in oak’ is not only unprecedented, but allows collectors and connoisseurs to experience how the wood truly shapes the whisky.

As an independent bottler and a relative upstart, the company prides itself upon its commitment to quality over quantity, releasing a handful of select whisky and rums each year. Further highlights include expressions of Springbank and The Macallan, each one aged in Mizunara. Not only is it the first time this rare oak has been used to finish such esteemed single malt, but the company has also selected and secured bourbon- and Sherry-cask expressions that are typically snapped up before they hit the shelves.

31 year old px sherry cask east asia whisky
(Photo: Xavier Young)

In addition to seeking out liquid rarities, the company is giving back through its releases. From its charitable Tortuga rum series, which donates 10 per cent of its revenue to the Miami-based Sea Turtle Conservancy to a forthcoming Caroni rum co-branded with the Silver Seal Whisky Company in support of UK-based charity the Manta Trust.

Overall, this approach to single-cask bottlings has seen the company expand its presence from Singapore to London and Tokyo, while attaining exclusive import representation in Los Angeles, Las Vegas, New York, Paris, Germany, and Indonesia. As the East Asia Whisky Company continues to push the boundaries of what’s possible in the world of single-cask bottlings, its releases are becoming harder to come by for all the right reasons.

You can buy this IWSC Gold Medal-winning whisky exclusively from www.eastasiawhisky.com for £4,500 plus VAT