Single malt whisky - tasting notes

21 Jun 2010

Karuizawa 1967 (cask #6426)

Tasting notes by Ruben Luyten - Posted in * Japan

Things are going fast. This is post n°400, and a very special one.

It’s safe to say this single cask Karuizawa 1967/2009 is the most legendary Japanese whisky to date (the oldest as well by the way). It was bottled in August 2009 and the cask was split between La Maison du Whisky and The Whisky Exchange (a total of around 450 bottles).

It wasn’t cheap (retail price around € 240-280) but it already fetches three times as much in auctions. An excellent investment, that is.


Karuizawa 1967 Karuizawa 42 yo 1967 (58,4%, OB 2009 for LMdW & TWE, cask #6426)

Nose: like walking into a high-end cigar store. Magnificent notes of pipe tobacco and cigars. Lots of polished oak, a few hints of solvents even. Amontillado sherry. Menthol. Musty earth. Fermented Pu-erh tea. Leather. It needs a bit of breathing, but it’s superbly complex, with an amazingly fresh side as well (whiffs of raspberry jam, strawberries and plums). Also a soft vanilla coating that I didn’t expect in a heavy sherry bottling. None of the matchsticks of the 1976/1977 releases though. Anyway you can really get lost in such a nose. Mouth: very powerful, dry and oaky at first (without being too resinous or tannic). Dark chocolate. Roasted coffee beans. Mint. Tobacco again. Toasted bread with dark forest fruits marmalade. Finish: very long, chocolaty with spicy dry oak.

No need for an elaborate conclusion… My favourite release of last year. Dark sherry maturation doesn’t get much better than this (unless you add some peat maybe?).

Score: 95/100


ps/ There have been rumours about an even older Karuizawa… I can’t wait.

Karuizawa 1967 (cask #6426) 5 Ruben Luyten 2010-06-21
  • Jorgen


  • Ruben

    I hesitated between 94 and 95. Anyway it’s really stunning. Open your bottle and you will see 😉

  • Charlie

    Older Karuizawa? Oh my …..

  • Jorgen

    the bottle stays closed… it looks like a good investment, at least…

  • René aka I_SPEY

    (almost) all whiskies are made to be opened!

  • MARS

    Tryed this one yesterday and I am not too impressed!
    It is a very good sherry monster but I have tasted better sherry monster(to my taste, of course)like the glendronach 1972 cask 719, the talisker 1955 secret stills 1.1, a glenfarclas 1966 bottled by la maison du whisky belgium, a laphroaig 1964/1981 BBR,…

  • Ruben

    Well you’re naming the cream of the crop. Also, I’m wondering how many of those sherry monsters you could have bought for € 250.

  • René

    One and a half?

  • Ruben

    Come on, only the Glenfarclas is cheaper than the Karuizawa (because it was an undisclosed independent bottling), the rest was/is a lot more expensive (well, the Laphroaig would have been cheaper in 1981 but that’s not a fair comparison). I’m trying to say that the Karuizawa is good value for money, even though there may have been a couple of better sherry monsters in the history of single malts.

  • MARS

    Indeed, the price was incredibly interesting when the bottle get out at “la maison du whisky” last year.
    I just wanted to say that it doesn’t value the 800/900€ people are paying now on whiskyauction.
    This silly price and high notes everywhere give me high expectation for this whisky. Better I try it in blind but it is a little bit late.

    Someone tell me to give him a lot of breathing, I will try it this way next week.

  • Pingback: Karuizawa 1968 (cask #6955 for LMdW) | WhiskyNotes()

  • Pingback: TWE in Japan: Karuizawa Trip Pt.6 | The Whisky Exchange Whisky Blog()



November 2015
« Oct    

Coming up

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

1931 notes by Ruben

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