Post by Stefan Van Eycken, Tokyo
Bond #1 members and soon, it will make its way to specialist liquor shops nationwide.
I normally don’t attempt tasting notes in the excruciating heat and humidity of the Japanese summer, but for this 33yo Karuizawa (sherry butt #7752) I was glad to make an exception. On the nose, the initial impressions are furniture polish, old chapels and antique shops. Then, there’s dried figs, prune jam, sour plums and a whole variety of nuts: macadamias, pecan pie, cashews, hazelnuts, … you name it. That’s not all, though. In the background, you’ll find some really intriguing secondary notes: freshly made rhubarb jam, griottines, porcini, a hint of beef jerky and some lime peel. On the palate, it throws a whole patisserie at you: Christmas cake, pound cake with dried fruit and port sauce, marrons glacés, mincemeat, chocolate-coated blueberries, tiramisu, tarte tatin, Pierre Hermé’s plaisirs sucrés and Irish coffee. If you’re not into sweets – really good sweets – you’re in trouble with this Karuizawa. The finish is long and mouth-coating on chocolate orange peel and caramel popcorn but with a lovely bitter-sweet edge. It’s classic old Karuizawa but with little surprises left and right, as always. If you don’t get this, you’ll end up regretting it. Trust me.
Part of this cask was bottled in 2006 for sale at the distillery shop so you may come across a 200ml bottle with the same cask number on it. The present bottling – everything that was left in the cask – is limited to 348 bottles. That’s not much but, even though this is a special release for the Japanese market, a few cases have been set aside for Karuizawa fans abroad who are members of Bond #1. Couriers in Japan will not ship alcohol abroad if the abv is over 60%. As if to accommodate fans abroad, the whisky in cask #7752 dropped just below that limit: 59.9%. Coincidence? I don’t know, but where I come from, you don’t question good fortune … Your move.
Read more about Karuizawa Distillery here.