Single malt whisky - tasting notes

31 Dec 2012

Karuizawa 1981 (cask #4961 for Shinanoya)

Posted by: Ruben Luyten 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

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  • WhiskyNotes: It says 'single cask Scotch whisky' on the label, so yes, technically it can even contain a bit of Girvan grain. Not that it matters a lot though.
  • kallaskander: Hi there, could be a teaspooned blenders cask... technically not a single malt then.... that seems more probable than letting an IB bring out the fir
  • Glenn Vanbellingen: If you put the 12 y origin at 40% head to head with the 12 y origin 46% you see it immediately or better you taste it immediately.

Coming up

  • Ardbeg 1972 (Douglas Laing OMC)
  • Jura 1972 SMWS 31.4
  • Balblair 2002
  • Kavalan Solist sherry (for LMdW)
  • Tullibardine 1980 (Malts of Scotland)
  • Ardbeg 1998 (Malts of Scotland)

1579 notes by Ruben

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