A 1980-vintage single-cask Karuizawa, bottled in 2015 and released only to attendees of The Whisky Exchange Whisky Show 2015.
Everyone that attended the show had the opportunity to enter a ballot to be offered the chance to purchase the bottle.
Karuizawa was founded in 1955 and was Japan’s smallest whisky distillery. In 1959, they became the first distillery to export whisky overseas. Sadly, it stopped production in 2000 and closed for good in 2011.
Picture of a mock-up bottle. It does look a bit ‘Kim Jong-il’, doesn’t it. Colour: mahogany. Nose: never has any whisky been this close to an old cognac at cask strength. Raisins, peaches, rancio. And then, rather a mineral/medicinal development, with some tiger balm, bandages, and antiseptic (touches). Which you can find in old cognac too. We all know that old spirits converge, don’t we. With water: Vicks Vaporub! Not the first time we’re finding this in Karuizawa. That means menthol and eucalyptus galore, plus lemongrass. Mouth (neat): starts clean, on oranges and flints, and gets then more mineral/medicinal again. Drinking mercurochrome and liquid clay. That’s meant to be good for your stomach, mind you. I mean, liquid clay, not whisky at 61.6% vol.! Numbs your lips a bit. With water: becomes very mentholy. Crème de menthe, salted liquorice, menthol snuff… You need to be acquainted with this style. The problem might be that it does not swim too well, while it’s really too hot when undiluted. Or maybe buy an electronic pipette? Finish: very long, salty and mentholy, really extreme. Drinking a blend of seawater and mint eau-de-vie. Or perhaps overcooked manzanilla. Comments: love it because it’s so extreme. Extreme whiskies are any taster’s joys, because they’re anything but boring. On the other hand, as far as organoleptical science is concerned, this is almost pure heresy. You’ll find in this one any compound that ends with –ol. SGP:373 - 85 points.
|Classification||Japanese Single Malt Whisky|
|# Released bottle||-|
|ABV/ Volume||61.6%/ 70cl|