When it comes to the good things in life, less really is more. The same goes for all those lovers out there of a good whisky pour. It’s exactly why whisky aficionados the world over are always on the hunt for next-best prized rarity ready for corkage. Aussie whisky diehards had every reason to get excited this week with esteemed boutique Australian whisky bottler – Rare Cask Society – unveiling a limited release of its latest rare and highly sought-after range. Ask any serious collector down under and they will tell you this really is a special occasion, which is why the folks at Rare Cask Society are commemorating it accordingly.
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Decorating their mint bottles this time around is the artistry of none other than acclaimed Archibald prize finalist and esteemed tattoo artist, Yoshio Honjo. After all, you get the best to design the best. Rare Cask Society subscribers will know this is the fourth edition in the indie label’s Whisky Art Project range and the first release in over seven years. Yep – it’s been that long! While it has literally been a long time between drinks, company director Cavan Wee promises the wait has been well and truly worth it. If the success of the 2020 release which featured labels designed by esteemed artist David Bromley is anything to go by, then he’s on the money. For the first time, Japanese Sake has been applied in seasoning both finishing casks of aged single malt Tasmanian Whisky, creating two unique expressions: an ex-Port Cask and an ex-Sherry Cask.
“After almost seven years, we’re excited to unveil our most exciting project yet which is a world-first release of a Japanese Sake-finished whisky pairing,” says Wee. “Collaborating with Yoshio and Overeem distillery, this pairing offers the ultimate tasting sensation for whisky enthusiasts who have the opportunity to experience and compare the subtle influence of Sake-finish, across extra-aged Overeem Port and Sherry casks, at natural cask strength.”
The uniquely paired single malt releases Yoshitsune and Lady Shizuka are just as graceful and exotic as their monikers suggest. And here’s the kicker. For the first time, Japanese Sake has been applied in seasoning both finishing casks of these vintage Tasmanian Whiskies, creating two to-die-for expressions: an ex-Port Cask (Commander Yoshitsune) and an ex-Sherry Cask (Lady Shizuka). Yoshistune and Lady Shizuka are available to be purchased individually but our sources tell us they are best enjoyed as a coupling, so if you can cover it, we suggest you snap up the pair.
“The idea of seeing my artwork printed on different materials beyond the human body is exciting. Both my artwork and tattooing are strongly influenced by Ukiyo-E, a Japanese artform, and my colour palette for Rare Cask’s latest whisky range is inspired by the pigments used by these artists,” Honjo said. “Like many, I enjoy drinking whisky on special occasions, so in crafting the design, I visualised that first sip of whisky – the taste, and associated feelings of pleasure.”
Yep – this dynamic duo is that good lads. But with only 165 pairs of the limited-edition, carefully hand-crafted bottles up for grabs, its best you get in early. Yoshistune and Lady Shizuka retail from $395 each or $695 per pair and go on sale to the public from July 1. To reserve a bottling for the home bar visit the online store below.