One of our good customers, a major household name, swears by them.

Another good client, equally legendary in the distillers’ hall of fame, raises his eyebrows in disdain when I venture the M word.

Opinion is divided, even amongst the best of the best.

Perhaps it’s the eye-watering price tags of new Mizunara casks which breed a convenient skepticism; by the same token, if there is still an active market at current prices – and yes, we can assure you that there is – then surely Mizunara Oak must have something very special and, well, highly valuable to impart. Right?

Well, in the next post on this subject I’ll be exploring the effect of Mizunara Oak on whisky and take a comparative look at some of the flavour science behind this.

Ethimex is the leading exporter of Mizunara oak casks, both 100% virgin Mizunara oak puncheons and our so-called Mizunara hybrid puncheons. The latter are a superb innovation, though we say so ourselves! The heads (or ends, if you’re up in Scotland) are of toasted Mizunara Oak whereas the body is of neutral (well-used) American Oak staves (fresh from classic Japanese barley shochu puncheons… also available from us by the way!) Given the exorbitant cost of Mizunara timber at auction, this hybrid approach brings the price to within sensible levels while still meaning that 30% of the internal surface area is Mizunara – more than enough to achieve the sought after Mizunara Oak finish to your liquid and without any additional American Oak traits creeping in. Eureka!


New 100% Mizunara Oak puncheon (450L)


Our 450L virgin Quercus mongolica X neutral Quercus alba “hybrid” puncheon