Single malt whisky - tasting notes

07 Jul 2010

Karuizawa 1982 for TWE

Tasting notes by Ruben Luyten - Posted in * Japan

This Karuizawa 1982 fetched 89 points in the 2009 Malt Maniacs Awards – just one point short of a gold medal (and one point below the highly praised Karuizawa 1972).

It was bottled for the 10th Anniversary of The Whisky Exchange.


Karuizawa 1982 TWE Karuizawa 27 yo 1982 (56,1%, OB 2009 for The Whisky Exchange 10th Anniversary, sherry cask #2748)

Nose: one of the more balanced Karuizawa without the matchstick notes that they sometimes display. Lots of spicy Christmas cake and café latte. Café noir biscuits. Some mint. Sour orange liqueur. It also shows a slightly forestial side. Mouth: pretty dense and slightly alcoholic. Notes of raisins and a little rubber. Cloves and other herbs. Slightly bitter coffee again with a bit of chocolate. Quite dry and remarkably savoury. Finish: medium length, with a perfect dryness and a faint hint of smoke.

Another excellent Karuizawa, not at all tired and very consistent. A profile that you won’t get from other distilleries. Around € 140 and still available from TWE.

Score: 90/100

Thanks for the sample swap, Johan!

Karuizawa 1982 for TWE 4 Ruben Luyten 2010-07-07
  • Johan Lamote

    You’re welcome, Ruben!

  • Michael

    This is the first vintage Karuizawa, I got and I have been hunting other Karuizawa expressions since. I recently manage to find Noh 1976. I even like very simple Karuizawa Pure Malt 8YO, which I compare favourably with many younger Spyside single malts. Karuizawa has become my top “to buy” whisky.

  • Michael

    Ruben, I know that we all have different preferences but I trust your judgement so could you please tell me if you would buy Karuizawa 1985 (cask #7017) or rather another bottle of Karuizawa 1982?

    Thank you,


  • Michael

    Ps. I live in Ontario, Canada (no private import of alcohol allowed) so I have to ship Karuizawa to an European address and pick it up when visiting. That means, one bottle at a time and I cannot make many mistakes 😉

  • Ruben

    That’s a difficult choice, Michael. I think the 1985 is a unique expression with lots of gunpowder / matchstick notes (even more so than the Noh 1976), kind of a Karuizawa on steroids. If you like the sound of that, go for it, you won’t be disappointed. On the other hand I know some people who think it’s “too much” so it’s difficult to make recommendations.

  • Michael

    Thank you, Ruben. The dilemma is the result of difficulties in getting Karuizawa in North America, especially Canada.
    Your notes are extremely helpful for me though!

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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.