Single malt whisky - tasting notes

31 Dec 2012

Karuizawa 1981 (cask #4961 for Shinanoya)

Tasting notes by Ruben Luyten - Posted in * Japan

This Karuizawa 1981 is another commemorative bottling for the 5th anniversary of Shinanoya. As you know bourbon versions of Karuizawa are quite rare.


Karuizawa 1981 #4961 ShinanoyaKaruizawa 31 yo 1981 (60,0%, Shinanoya 2012, bourbon barrel #4961, 228 btl.)

Nose: a carpenter’s workshop really. Polished oak, freshly sawn pine wood, sandalwood. A little paint varnish and glue. It’s rather hard to find other aromas behind this wall of oak, but there’s definitely vanilla and cinnamon. A few drops of water bring out hints of apple pie and orange candy. Quite some eucalyptus too. Mouth: whoa, that’s heavy oak. Very concentrated and very oaky. Just spicy at first (ginger, pepper, aniseed) but it evolves to dry oak with quite some leathery notes and plain tannins. Green tea and a zesty bitterness. Wax and mint. Again it gains a little fruitiness and vanilla with a bit of water. Finish: long, oaky with pepper and ginger alongside some baked apples.

Very powerful and quite interesting although I think it’s overoaked. You’ll have to fiddle with water to get the best out of it. Around € 250. Sold out. Sample provided by Nonjatta.

Score: 86/100

Karuizawa 1981 (cask #4961 for Shinanoya) 3.5 Ruben Luyten 2012-12-31



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.