East meets West: unique Chivas Regal Mizunara launches in China
Chivas Regal, the world’s first luxury whisky, has announced the Chinese launch of Chivas Regal Mizunara at a lavish tasting event at one of Shanghai’s best known speakeasies, Speak Low. Boasting over 200 years of whisky-making tradition, highly ingenious, daring Master Blenders and a steadfast commitment to quality, Chivas has once again made history by introducing casks made from prized Japanese Mizunara oak to the maturing process of the very richest and finest single malt and grain whiskies. The result of this unprecedented combination is Chivas Regal Mizunara, the world’s first Scotch whisky to be selectively finished in Mizunara oak casks. The tasting event held for Chivas Regal Mizunara at Speak Low attracted both Chivas enthusiasts and whisky aficionados, who could not wait to sample this truly unique whisky for themselves.
The pioneering decision to age Scotch whisky in Mizunara oak casks to make Chivas Regal Mizunara epitomises the sublime fusion of Western tradition and Eastern style. Whiskies finished in Mizunara casks are some of the most coveted amongst whisky blenders and collectors. Indigenous to Japan, the Mizunara oak the casks are made from is incredibly rare, with one tree taking two centuries or longer to fully grow. The oak possesses a distinctive porous nature that imparts rich flavours even when storing aged whiskies for a short amount of time. Commenting on the creative opportunities and difficulties of making Chivas Regal Mizunara, Sandy Hyslop, Chivas Brothers Director of Blending, says: “Among blenders, Mizunara oak casks are highly respected for two main reasons: first, they are incredibly rare; and secondly, once sourced, they present complex challenges for ageing whisky. The porous nature of the oak results in a greater influence of flavour from the casks, meaning the quality of each batch must be meticulously and individually assessed. However, if the process is mastered, the resulting whisky is truly unique, as showcased by Chivas Regal Mizunara. I hope Chinese whisky lovers enjoy this truly distinctive, luxury blend: a new experience within the Chivas Regal range, and a fitting Scottish tribute to this exceptional Japanese oak.”
The coming together of Eastern and Western traditions in the Chivas Regal Mizunara delivers a smooth and rich taste with honey sweetness and a trace of hazelnut, as well as a long finish. The almost mystical power of the exceptional Mizunara oak enhances the entire whisky, imbuing it with a smooth, generous flavour that perfectly balances Oriental aromas and a refreshing, fruity taste. Every drop of this exquisite whisky deserves to be savoured.
Derived from the very richest and finest of single malt and grain whiskies and infused with the enchanting power of coveted Mizunara oak, Chivas Regal Mizunara possesses a unique profile that combines Eastern and Western flavours. To fully appreciate its complexity, the proper drinking ritual is required. With its fusion of Eastern and Western design elements, the tasting event at Speak Low provided the perfect backdrop to enjoy the whisky. The venue was decorated with ears of Scottish wheat and enveloped in the rich fragrance of Japanese orchids. Waiters dressed in traditional Japanese kimonos on the first floor greeted guests by delicately passing them small hand towels. As the guests cleaned their hands, they caught a hint of a light yet distinct fragrance lingering in the air: the scent of Chivas Regal Mizunara. This reinvigorating aroma helped the guests relax while preparing them for the memorable experience to follow.
In search of the source of this intoxicating aroma, the guests ascended the stairs of the speakeasy. On the second floor, they found Craig Swindell, Chivas Regal Brand Ambassador in China, ceremoniously opening a bottle of Chivas Regal 12 Year Old to prepare for the evening’s main event. Next he unveiled the star of the show: Chivas Regal Mizunara. He guided the guests through each of the steps of the traditional Scotch whisky drinking ritual. As he led them to admire the colour of the whisky, swirl it in their glasses and take a sniff, aromas of pear and orange rose up to fill the room. Soon after, guests were treated to another surprise from the East, as Atsushi Suzuki, the most recent Chivas Masters World Champion, greeted them by preparing globally-loved Japanese-style highballs for their pleasure. For cocktail specialists, highballs and Chivas Regal Mizunara are an unbeatable combination. The addition of ice cubes and soda water do not at all diminish the distinctive aromas of the Mizunara oak, but rather prolong them.
After the two tasting sessions concluded, Atsushi joined fellow bartenders TK and Oji to mix cocktails based on Chivas Regal Mizunara. These three expert bartenders are not only Scotch whisky enthusiasts, they are also all well-versed in the art of making the most trendy Japanese cocktails. The clash of Eastern and Western styles provided guests with the opportunity to sample many exceptional drinks that evening.
The launch of the Limited Edition Chivas Regal Mizunara not only represents the successful introduction of yet another outstanding premium Scotch whisky, it also marks yet another milestone in the prestigious whisky maker’s history of creating imaginative, unforgettable whiskies. The prolific combination of Scottish tradition with Japanese style provides a refreshing experience for consumers while also unleashing a multitude of exciting possibilities for whisky connoisseurs to explore.
• Nose: Rich and fruity, with pear and orange notes • Palate: Smooth and rich with a honey sweetness and a trace of hazelnut • Finish: Long, with a touch of Mizunara spice • Colour: Warm amber
Koji Sour by Atsushi Suzuki
By combining traditional Japanese ingredients with Scotch whisky, this drink not only celebrates Chivas Regal Mizunara’s unprecedented fusion of East and West, it also pays homage to the prestigious drinking cultures that inspired it. • 45ml Chivas Regal Mizunara • 20ml Sesame sugar • 20ml Citrus • 2bsp Koji • 1bsp Soy sauce • 20ml Egg white
Affinities by Oji
Not only does this drink blend together Eastern and Western flavours by mixing traditional Japanese plum wine, with Chivas Regal Mizunara, the addition of salted cherry blossoms enhances its visual impact, celebrating the coming together of different cultures. • 30ml Chivas Regal Mizunara • 25ml Plum wine • 5ml Natural mineral water • 1tsp Amaretto almond liqueur • 3 dashes Orange bitter • 1pcs Salted cherry blossom (decoration)
Migratory by TK
Inspired by the fleeting beauty of Japanese birds as they migrate southward, this drink represents the extraordinary global journey Chivas Regal Mizunara took to arrive in China. • 50ml Chivas Regal Mizunara • 15ml Hojicha tea and osmanthus vermouth • 10ml Clearfield lemon juice • 7.5ml Cassis liqueur • Origami crane, Edible flower (decoration)