Sunday, 31 January 2016

Whisky Discovery #1546

Karuizawa 33 Year Old Cask No.136 (55.3% abv)
Japanese Whisky
Only available at Auction
Karuizawa Cask 136
My first Whisky Discovery of 2016 and what a way to start! A single cask release from the now legendary Japanese Distillery Karuizawa, which ceased all production in 2001 when the distillery was mothballed.

Distilled in 1981 this has spent 33 years in a Sherry butt before being bottled in 2014 at 55.3% and thanks to French Whisky enthusiast and blogger Franck Debanardi for this very special sample. Cask 136 was a single cask release for French whisky specialist La Maison Du Whisky and just 595 bottles were released. Whilst not a cheap buy at the time of release, at a recent auction a bottle of this sold for over £2,500!

So What Did I Think?
I must admit that I'm no longer a huge fan of 'Sherry Monsters' as there have been a few that have put me off over recent years but I was pleased to say this one did not disappoint.

Of course, the nose is full of rich sherry notes, but there's a rather pleasant sourness of Chinese preserved plums, a dried fruit snack I particularly enjoyed during my time out in the Far East. There are hints of liquorice, waxy furniture polish and leather. With a drop or two of water, the sour cherry notes sweeten giving cherry liqueur, hints of orange peel appear and eventually some floral notes come through too.

On the palate, the woodiness comes through strong and a little waxy, but not overpowering as it's balanced by the slightly sour cherry/dried plum flavours and a pleasant hit of peppery spice. As found with the nose, a drop of water sweetens the palate too, giving ripe plums and liquorice which last long into the woody finish.

Verdict: Gorgeous and a great way to start the Liquid log off in 2016. Unfortunately with auction prices forever climbing, getting the chance to try anything from Karuizawa is getting more and more difficult. Thanks again to Franck Debenardi - why not follow him on Twitter @lacaveducobalt and check out his blog

I'm looking for a sample of another Karuizawa release that I was hoping to get onto a bottle share, with but just missed out! If you have an open bottle of The Whisky Exchange release 1984 Vintage Cask #3663 56.8% abv I would love a sample, please!
Karuizawa Cask 136
Slàinte! Dave

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