Saturday, November 2, 2013

Karuizawa ‘Noh’ 1980/2013 for Sweden/Norway

Post by Stefan Van Eycken, Tokyo
Today, we’re looking at one of two recent Noh Karuizawas bottled for Sweden and Norway: Karuizawa 1980 / 2013, #3565, 59.2%abv, 335btls.

Right off the bat, you can tell it’s one of those glorious, early-80s Karuizawas. Many people consider this to be the distillery’s ‘Golden Age’ and this specimen certainly makes a good case for that claim.

On the nose, you’ve got dried fruits (fig log, mincemeat, dates) but loads of other things going on, too: a massive walnut note; a lovely earthy, vegetal dimension, which you often get in Karuizawas from the early 80s (fried burdock, roasted red bell pepper soup); the sweetness of caramel popcorn and fudge; more fruit (baked apples, stewed berries); hints of rum raisin buttercream, old leather, balsamic vinegar, old armagnac, green tea powder (maccha), jamon iberico… and that’s just scratching the surface. It’s a pretty hefty slice of the world in a glass.

On the palate, it’s equally complex: dried and stewed fruits again (figs, raisins; blackberries, raspberries) but big on citrus (lemon, sudachi) and bitter elements (grapefruit peel, mulberry leaf powder). It’s got a subtle herbal dimension, as well – nothing particular jumping out, but more like a herb liqueur (think Chartreuse). The finish is long and lingering starting on pink pepper, nutmeg, dried pineapple and candied orange peel before settling on sudachi… and I really mean ‘settling’. It just stays with you, following you all the way to bed and into the morning – if you happen to be enjoying this late at night, that is. Get a bottle of this and your nights will never be the same again…

Read more about Karuizawa Distillery here.

No comments: