Friday, December 10, 2010
Karuizawa .. vintage
Review by Nonjatta contributor - Serge Valentin
Visit Serge`s website, the definitive Whiskyfun.com.
Karuizawa 'Vintage' 1981/2007 (58.1%, OB, cask #103) This one was
selected by Marcin at One Drinks Company and it did extremely well at
the Malt Maniacs Awards 2007, with a Gold Medal and the Top Japanese
Malt Award. Colour: amber. Nose: truly powerful, starting on an
immense, but truly enjoyable woodiness. Big varnishy notes, almonds
and marzipan, green tea and hints of horseradish (or wasabi –
Japanese indeed). Then it's the wilderness that speaks out, with
notes of humus, moss, pine needles, roots, wet dead leaves... And
finally a big mint and a big eucalyptus. Oh, and our beloved dried
mushrooms. It's not really subtle whisky but the boldness and
compactness are very, very enjoyable. With water: now it's fully on
dried mushrooms (boletus and these huge black Chinese ones) and
Havana tobacco. Hyper-concentrated. Mouth (neat): huge, fat, punchy,
heavily concentrated. 'Good' oak infusion, walnut skin, curry,
mustard and bread crust. Goes on with cough syrup and green bananas.
It's amazing that all this oakiness remains good – I mean, excellent.
With water: it's the spices that really go out now. Pepper first,
then cloves and cinnamon, then nutmeg... How big this is! Finish:
very long – more of the same. One of the most muscular whiskies I had
these months, no doubt. SGP:586 - 91 points.
59.5 per cent (abv)