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Wednesday, November 2, 2022

Kaiyō 8 year old "K&L Exclusive" cask 543

Onto the last of the three Kaiyō, then maybe I'll get to a pair of Japanese blends before the week is out. The Sheri was better than expected, Cask 541 was Craftier than expected, so will Cask 543 will be ???er than expected?

Brand: Kaiyō
Ownership: Harvey the Pooka
Type: Vatted, or Blended, Malt
Country: Japan
Age: 8 years old
Bottled: 2019 or 2020
Maturation7.5 years in Mizunara oak then one year in a ruby port pipe
Cask #: 543
Exclusive to: K&L Wine Merchants
Alcohol by Volume: 56%
(from a bottle split)


The nose begins with a clunky combo of caramel, metal and saline, but it blossoms with time. Apricot jam, honey, blackberries, black peppercorns and a touch of tawny port. The palate feels almost fizzy. And it's a real sweetie. Lots of black cherry soda and lime candy. Mild bitterness in the background. It finishes with black cherry and flowers. Plenty of sugar and just a little bitterness.

DILUTED to ~46%abv, or 1¼ tsp of water per 30mL whisky 

Apples, cardamom and honey in the nose's fore, a hint of coffee grounds in the back. It's much oakier now, with wood spice, tannins, pepper and bitterness. It finishes with a green oak bitterness.


Three Kaiyōs, three mizunara maturations smothered by other casks. That Japanese oak is rare and expensive, so I'm not sure what the point of using it is as long as it gets killed off in each release. Despite that mystery, I enjoyed cask 543 as a dessert malt. It's very sweet and juicy, but that's the port pipe talking. Dilution harms the palate, so I encourage you to keep this one neat.

Availability - Sold out
Pricing - $99.99
Rating - 81 (neat only)