Single malt whisky - tasting notes

22 May 2009

Karuizawa 1972 36yo

Tasting notes by Ruben Luyten - Posted in * Japan

Until 1955, when they entered the Japanese whisky industry, Karuizawa was a vineyard. The distillery is very old-fashioned, sticking to Scottish traditions and focusing on small-scale production. Karuizawa uses 100% Golden Promise barley, wooden washbacks, small stills and sherry casks sourced from Spain.

The distillery composed an epic whisky last year when releasing the oldest Japanese whisky ever, the Karuizawa 1971. Now there is a slightly younger follow-up, the 36 years old 1972.


Karuizawa 1972/2008 Karuizawa 36yo 1972
(65%, OB 2008, cask #7290, Japanese wine cask, 528 btl.)

Nose: the alcohol really hits you, but it’s still very expressive. Big sherry (well, Japanese wine) influence. Wonderful tobacco notes, like a recently opened cigar box. Plums. Kirsch. Spicy chocolate (cinnamon) and orange marmalade. Some leather. A light hint of smoke. Very complex, very good. Mouth: wow, very powerful and hot. Water needed here (and I don’t say that very often). Very intense, with a peppery attack. Fruity notes (lemon and tangerine) with a strong woody dimension. Raisins. Hints of smoke. Finish: very long finish on oak and spices. Warm and drying.

Again a true classic. Not cheap but simply excellent. Expect to pay around € 185.

Score: 92/100

Karuizawa 1972 36yo 4.5 Ruben Luyten 2009-05-22



November 2015
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Coming up

  • Amrut 2009 (cask #2701)
  • Lagavulin 12 Years (2015)
  • Lindores 2015 festival bottling
  • Glenlivet 1981 (#9468 for TWE)
  • Talisker Distillers Edition (2015)
  • Laphroaig 32 Year Old
  • Glen Grant 65yo 1950 cask #2747 for Wealth Solutions
  • Mortlach 1959/1960 (G&M Royal Wedding)

1929 notes by Ruben

WhiskyNotes - Ruben LuytenThis blog is my personal collection of impressions, written while searching for the ultimate single malt whisky.