Single malt whisky - tasting notes

05 Dec 2009

Karuizawa ‘Wait La Mazurka’

Posted by: Ruben Luyten In: * Japan

Number One Drinks - Karuizawa No need to introduce Karuizawa after the recent Malt Maniacs Awards. There were two of them and both obtained a medal. A few weeks ago, our Belgian bottler Daily Dram released its own Wait La Mazurka, a 31 year-old Karuizawa 1977 vintage. I was told this cask was selected in an impromptu tasting session in the back seat of a London cab…

 

Karuizawa 1977 Wait La Mazurka Karuizawa ‘Wait La Mazurka’ 31 yo 1977
(62,7%, Daily Dram 2009, cask 6994, 200 btl)

Nose: sherry in overdrive. Starting on matchsticks (don’t worry, no sulphur involved) and barbecued meat, quickly overpowered by lots of dried fruits (figs, apricots) and coated with honey. Very beautiful. Reminds me of my grandmother’s red mirabelles on syrup. Some cinnamon and dark chocolate. Hints of pipe tobacco and delicate whiffs of roasted nuts. Delicious. Slightly mentholated. Hints of dill. Old leather! There’s a dusty side to it, but that’s just great, it adds to the complexity. The sherry is all over the place, but it’s absolutely high-class. Damn good! Mouth: quite strong without water of course. Very rich and fruity. Big notes of coffee and cherries. With water: roasted nuts, wonderful chocolate. Dry walnuts, plum jam again. Delicate hints of mint. Finish: long, slightly drying, on smoked almonds and still that beautiful sherried chocolate.

This Wait La Mazurka is one of the best Daily Dram bottlings ever and it confirms the qualities of Karuizawa (my favourite Japanese distillery). An instant collectors item. A nose to die for and a great palate. It deserves its place in the wonderful 1967 / 1971 / 1972 line-up.

Score: 91/100

One small remark: Karuizawa is usually too hot to be had neat, even at 30 years old it anaesthetises your tongue. I think that’s a downside, because you need to find the balance with water yourself which is difficult sometimes and changes the experience. I prefer cask strength bottlings under 60% that are perfect as they are, but hey, now we’re really nitpicking!

Karuizawa ‘Wait La Mazurka’ 4.5 Ruben Luyten 2009-12-05

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  • WhiskyNotes: You're right, it is a refill bourbon cask. Sorry if I suggested otherwise, but I believe a single cask can never be 80% sherry and 20% bourbon like th
  • Tabrulavubeg: I've tried the 18yo Single Cask yesterday. It's really quite good, but from Ruben's conclusion "an exquisite version of this already really good dram"
  • Johan Andersson: Yes this cask is really fantastic. If you did the Cadenhead Warehouse tasting with Grant MacPherson in Campbeltown 2013 and until Open Day in May 2014

Coming up

  • Smooth Ambler Old Scout 7yo
  • Highland Park 1973 (Mackillop's Choice)
  • Kavalan bourbon cask for Belgium
  • Cardhu 18 Year Old
  • Glenrothes 1997 (Kintra)
  • Bladnoch 1992 (The Nectar)
  • Ledaig 2005 (Maltbarn)

1665 notes by Ruben

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