Glendalough 13 Year Old Mizunara Finish
March 2018

Glendalough 13 Year Old Mizunara Finish

We were thrilled to introduce the Glendalough 13 Year Old Mizunara Finish Single Malt to our Members. This Irish whisky was the first to be matured in the world’s rarest, most flavourful oak, Japan’s native mizunara, a wood sparingly used even in Japan due to its rarity and cost.


Colour Golden

Nose Sweet honeycomb, vanilla, apricot and citrus.

Palate A velvety smooth palate with robust vanilla, fudge, rock candy, peach and marmalade followed by faint coconut, cinnamon and cloves.

Finish Long and spicy with biscuity malts, more vanilla, oak and dark chocolate.

Food Match Dark chocolate and ginger biscuits


The Glendalough 13 Year Old Mizunara Finish is a stunning evolution of Glendalough’s original 13 Year Old that won Best Irish Whiskey, with an excellent choice of wood adding an unprecedented layer of flavour to Ireland’s first ever mizunara-matured whiskey.

Glendalough single malts are made from locally grown barley and double distilled in copper pot stills. The spirit is aged initially in first-fill ex-Bourbon casks before being transferred to a variety of very carefully selected finishing casks, each chosen to impart a unique characteristic to the final product. Glendalough’s Double Barrel is finished in Oloroso sherry casks from Montilla in Spain, the 7 Year Old finishes in Blackpits porter barrels from Five Lamps Brewery in Dublin, while the 13 Year Old finds its way into extremely rare Mizunara oak casks from Ariake Cooperage in Japan where it spends up to a year taking on some beautifully unique characteristics.

Mizunara is a very rare native species of Japanese oak. The wood is extremely hard to work with and casks are sourced from 200-year-old trees in the remote forests of Hokkaido Island in northern Japan. It’s also porous so it leaks woefully and as a result is rarely used for whisky, even in Japan. However, there’s a pay-off for those who dare. The porous wood allows more contact with the liquid, and these open-grained, lightly-charred barrels amplify flavour more than other oak while layering on sandalwood, coconut and much more vanilla. Compared to traditional American and European oak, Mizunara creates an extremely smooth liquid with an unusually creamy mouthfeel.

Jim Murray rated the Glendalough 13 Year Old Mizunara Finish Single Malt a whopping 96/100 in his 2018 Whisky Bible describing it as “the spiciest Irish nose this year… probably the most sensuous chocolate finish in the history of Irish whiskey, different and adorable”.

Non-chill filtered, natural colour and bottled at 46% ABV, Glendalough 13 Year Old Mizunara Finish is about to become your new favourite malt!


Price: $120.00

Age: 13 Years Old

ABV: 46%

Maturation: Matured for 12 years in first fill American oak ex-bourbon casks, followed by 12 months in Japanese Mizunara oak.

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Glendalough's History

Ireland’s first craft distillery, Glendalough, was founded by a couple of mates in 2011, with the aim of recapturing “Ireland’s lost heritage of great spirit production” – and the results so far haven’t disappointed.

Founded by Barry Gallagher and Brian Fagan, along with Gary McLoughlin and Kevin Keenan, the team behind the distillery has a wealth of spirits industry knowledge. Gallagher and Fagan are drinks analysts working in the finance area of the industry, while McLoughlin and Keenan are advertising specialists who’ve spent years working with some of the best brands in the market.

The distillery has taken a forward-thinking approach to production and has so far produced a sterling range of liquors with overwhelmingly positive results.

In a sense the lads looked back to go forward and started off making poitín (pronounced pot-sheen), a traditional drink that the Irish are pretty keen on. In essence, poitín is new make spirit made from barley and has evolved over the centuries into whisky as we know it today, mainly through the introduction of oak casks for ageing. Records dating as far back as 584AD show that Irish monastic settlements like Glendalough were the birthplace of distilling in Ireland, predating Scottish clergyman Frair John Cor’s efforts by almost 1000 years. Whisky, along with the bagpipes, are Ireland’s gift to Scotland, much like the Kiwi fruit is Australia’s gift to New Zealand.

During the 18th and 19th centuries, there were more than 200 licensed (and many unlicensed) stills operating throughout Ireland, most of which were producing poitín for local consumption. As regulations were tightened, the vast majority of those stills were closed down – and now Glendalough is seeking to bring back part of the pioneering spirit that saw Irish whisky evolve into the wonder that it is today.

Spurred on by a great local reception for their poitín, the company decided to purchase their current base of operations in Glendalough village, County Wicklow. Not surprisingly, the site was chosen for its superb water, drawn from the nearby Wicklow Mountains and Glendalough’s patron saint, St Kevin, can be found on every bottle that comes through the distillery.

While Glendalough makes poitín and even gin, it’s long term plan has always been the revival of Irish single malt whisky. Earlier this year the distillery released it’s single malts on an unsuspecting, and now ever grateful, whisky world with a huge splash at two of the world’s “grand slam” blind tasting competitions, the San Francisco Spirits Awards and London’s Spirits Masters. The 13 Year Old was named Best Irish Whiskey and Best Single Malt Irish Whiskey in San Francisco, while the 7 Year Old, our whisky this month, backed it up with a Master in London.

Distillery Facts

Region: Ireland

Origin: Glendalough, Co. Wicklow, Ireland

Founded: 2011

Water Source: Wicklow Mountains

Stills: 1 1500l still (used for both wash and spirit runs)

Capacity: 100000 litres of alcohol per annum

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