Post by Stefan of Tokyo Whisky Hub.
Just when you thought there couldn't possibly be any more Japanese whisky to distract you from your year-end shopping, along comes this new release and what a stunner it is. It's the first in a new series of Karuizawa single casks for the Japanese market (but those of you living abroad, read on!), entitled "Memories of Karuizawa". It's a younger Karuizawa - a 1999 vintage, the year before the distillery stopped producing - aged for 13 years in a sherry butt (#879), and bottled at a cask-strength of 62.9% abv. It is incredibly dark so you would be forgiven for thinking this was one of those ex-sherry-cask whiskies on steroids ... that is, if you didn't know Karuizawa very well. If you did, you would know to always expect the unexpected, and this is no exception - or is that a contradiction in terms?
Oh yes, where to get it. Here things get a bit tricky. The official release date is Christmas Eve (if you haven't made any dining arrangements yet, just get a bottle of this - it's the best Christmas meal you can imagine, albeit in liquid form). Some shops in Japan have already started pre-selling. Googling is pointless - the handful of shops that have put them up for sale online already sold out their allocation in no time. So, you'll just have to wait and keep your eyes peeled. If you live abroad, I have some good news for you. In spite of the overwhelming domestic demand, Whisk-e has been so kind as to set aside a few bottles for die-hard Karuizawa fans abroad. These will go on sale on December 24th, from 6pm local time, limited to 1 bottle per customer (to make as many people happy as possible). Consider this tip to be our Christmas present to you: Memories of Karuizawa at Malt City.