Post by Stefan of Tokyo Whisky Hub
The colour (dark mahogany – the 45yo with a slight ‘candy apple red’ shade) and consistency (incredibly thick, syrupy and oily) would lead you to believe they’re very similar, but with well-aged Karuizawas you’ll find that instead of smoothing out differences, time has a way of bringing out and developing individual quirks in the whiskies.
On the nose, the 40yo offers walnut bread, toasted almond flakes, marzipan, pumpkin seed scones, golden raisins, dry sherry, maraschino cherries, orange peel and subtle hints of grilled zucchini, white asparagus and rosemary focaccia. The 45yo is very different. Here we have aged balsamico, figs, old leather-bound books and old chapels, but also plum jam, prune chutney, stewed berries and a gorgeous mimolette cheese note. If you really give it time, you may even find something akin to bacon-wrapped parmesan-stuffed dates. Incredibly voluptuous.
The 45yo doesn’t need any water at all, but with the 40yo, a few drops enhance the sweetness, both on the nose and the palate. They’re both exceptional malts, but the 45yo is really in a league of its own. You can spend hours with a dram of this and feel like the luckiest person on earth – no question about it. If you see this – and chances are slim because people in Taiwan love their old sherried malts – this is one bottle worth breaking the bank for.
Read more about Karuizawa Distillery here.