This Chivas Mizunara is part of the Ultimate Cask Collection released in 2018. This exciting series had started in 2015 with the First Fill American Oak Finish, followed in 2017 by the First Fill French Oak Finish. It was initially released for the Travel Retail market.
The blend is pleasantly surprising, especially considering the well-balanced Palate/Finish. But in general, this exciting maturation in a mix of Ex-Bourbon casks & Sherried Wood followed by the Mizunara Cask Finish works well. It's pretty expensive, but you won't be disappointed if you spare the cash. Sweet but Good stuff!
Colour: Mahogany (Artificially Colored)
Nose: You immediately notice the Mizunara Wood when nosing this Chivas, and it reminds me of Polished Sandalwood. It's a lovely smell, actually, but it's somewhat diluted here by the neutral Grain Alcohol. The Nose is Sweet with (Dried) Fruit, Vanilla, and Spices. It's not powerful despite the respectable ABV, and I had expected more, to be honest.
Prominent Aromas: Barley Sugar, Toasted Grains, Buttered Toast, Caramel, Vanilla, Apricot-Filled Puff-Pastry, Grain Alcohol, Rum-Tea, Dried Fruit like Raisins and Figs, very ripe Banana, Nectarine, Mizunara Wood, Cinnamon, Ginger and Cloves.
Palate: Quite pleasant. The Mizunara Wood gives this extra character, and it does not overpower the other flavors, probably thanks to the high ABV. It's difficult not to like this one unless you are allergic to Sweetness because it is Sweet!
Finish: Middle-Long and quite Sweet. Medium-Dry towards the end. The Grain Alcohol is quite present, but it's still a pretty decent Finish for a Blended Scotch Whisky. You do need to accept the Sweetness, however. The Sherry Wood is quite noticeable. Sweet Barley, Resin, Sugared Honey Nuts, Toasted Grains, Toffee, Caramel, Vanilla, Sweet Apples, and Pears, Banana Ice-Cream, Nectarine, Orange, Lemon, Perfumed Soap, Mizunara Wood, Peanuts, Salt, Pepper, Cinnamon, Ginger, Cloves and Aniseed.