Tim Forbes of The Whisky Exchange has just posted the second part of his Karuizawa trip report. It makes for very interesting reading and a much-hoped-for look behind the scenes of the whole Karuizawa stock transfer. Here's the most interesting bit:
"Doing a few quick sums in my head, it seemed that there were only around a couple of hundred casks of Karuizawa here [= Chichibu distillery]. Was this really all that was left? Yes and no. David [Croll, of No.1 Drinks] explained that a significant proportion of the few hundred casks that had been purchased from Mercian / Kirin were relatively young, having been filled in the 1990s. A good number of these casks (to be precise: 77, which is a very good number in anyone’s book) from the 1999 and 2000 vintages have been vatted together to create an 11 year old Karuizawa single malt that will be the first large batch young Karuizawa to be released in Europe. This batch has yet to be bottled, but is provisionally entitled Asama, in reference to the beautiful snow-capped volcano that overlooks the distillery, and should be hitting the shelves in the next few months. All the remaining casks were here in the warehouse, and will be split between the company’s distribution partners, namely TWE and our French friends [of La Maison du Whisky] for Europe and America, and Eric for the Far East, over the years to come."