Post by Stefan Van Eycken, Tokyo
Bond#1 right now; from next week, it will also be on the shelves of selected retailers here in Japan.
The 3rd release is one of the few casks left from the 1996 vintage, and it is – in fact – a sister cask (#3684) of our very own Nonjatta Karuizawa (#3681). There’s definitely family resemblance so it won’t surprise you to read that we are quite fond of this new single cask.
On the nose, there’s fruit, of course – assorted berries, dried apricots and raspberry meringue – but there’s also fresh ginger ale and grass in early summer with some very subtle wood smoke in the background. After a while, a nice orange marmalade note comes to the fore, accompanied by over-ripe kiwis, honey-roasted almonds, shiso leaf and a touch of eucalyptus. On the palate, it packs quite a punch neat: orange zest and raspberries on the attack, then slightly under-ripe grapefruit and gooseberries. It really needs water – only then does it reveal its charms on the palate: milk chocolate, hazelnut cream, nougat, candied orange peel again, ramune candy, then caramel pear mousse and pumpkin seed spread. Resistance is futile… it’s a phenomenal amalgam of flavours. The finish is long and lingering on sweet jam notes but with a lovely tart edge.
Now for the bad news: there are only 303 bottles. Since no one will bother to ready any further, we’ll just sign off wishing you a nice weekend... and it will be if you manage to score a bottle of this.
Read more about Karuizawa Distillery here.