Rob Easter is a one-man-band of whiskey making and spirit creation. We’ve been working with him since the day we opened to provide drinks at events, gift bottles for our friends in Japan, and we usually have a bottle of his around the shop to share with friends.
The way Rob approaches whiskey is the same way Ooe Yofukuten creates denim or The Real McCoy’s makes leather jackets. Start at first principles, and do everything the right way from the start.
The Mizunara Single Cask Whiskey is our first effort together. Last year, we had the opportunity to purchase a highly coveted and rare Mizunara Japanese oak cask. Each of these casks is made from oak trees that are at least 200 years old, and rarely harvested. Even distilleries with access to forests do not have the rights to cut these special trees.
The oak itself is challenging to work with, as it rarely grows straight, and is highly porous with a high water content (the name translates to "water oak").
We filled this extremely rare cask with California-grown rye and barley distilled in the bay area. These bottles are from the cask-conditioning fill of this new oak cask, and have a rowdy nature to them with spicy tones.
The tasting notes on this one (as per professional tasters): caramelized citrus, fresh non-burnt tobacco, sourdough toast with stone fruit preserve, light roast coffee, fresh cotton, nuanced nutty notes hinting toward hazelnut, sweet mint.
When we drink it, we’re picking up a lot more of the caramelized citrus, tobacco, and toast flavors, with a layer of sweetness under the spicy overtone. Keep in mind, tasting notes are all subjective, and heavily influenced by your personal experiences.
The concept is “upgraded Jonathan Strolling Blue with a Japanese twist” malted and unmalted grain aged together in rare Japanese Oak (Mizunara) and bottled at 55% ABV.
The magic here comes from the grains. The barley is from Yolo County, and the rye from Grass Valley. Each is grown with regenerative agriculture practices, going beyond organic into truly sustainable farming. The grains are then floor malted which is a practice rarely used in mainstream whiskeys, but yields superior results.
The resulting mash is clean-distilled, a slightly subjective term that in this case simply means that Rob only collects the most perfect, beautiful piece of the run (“the heart”) as it comes out of the still. Bigger distilleries will take more of the head and tail, and really stretch their cut as far as possible to increase yields and profits at the cost of quality and flavor.
There are only 250 bottles of this edition available, and when it’s gone, it’s all gone. This isn’t whiskey to be hoarded, however, this whiskey to be sipped, shared, and enjoyed.
- Aged 12 months in Mizunara Japanese oak cask
- Regeneratively grown California barley and rye
- Aged in a rare Japanese Oak Cask
- Excellent on the rocks or in a highball
- Bottle made in Osaka, Japan
- Linen label
- Floor malted in the Bay area
- Copper Pot distilled in California