Monday, December 10, 2007

Karuizawa 1981 Vintage

Gold medalist and the overall winner of the Japanese category at the Malt Maniacs Awards 2007. A classy whisky. But then what do you expect from a town where the current Japanese Emperor met his lady?

Review by Nonjatta contributor - Serge Valentin

Visit Serge`s website, the definitive

"Karuizawa 'Vintage' 1981/2007 (58.1%, OB, cask #103)
This one was selected by Marcin at Number One Drinks Company and it did extremely well at the Malt Maniacs Awards.
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 those 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!
Very long – more of the same. One of the most muscular whiskies I had these months, no doubt. SGP:586 - 91 points." (Serge`s 100 point scoring system is explained on this page and the more precise SGP is explained here)

58.1 per cent (abv)

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