Single malt whisky - tasting notes

15 Oct 2012

Karuizawa 1982 (cask #8497)

Tasting notes by Ruben Luyten - Posted in * Japan

NonjattaI’m proud to be a Nonjatta contributor now. I’ll regularly provide tasting notes of Japanese whiskies for their website.



Among the highlights of the recent 2012 Whisky Exchange Whisky Show in London were two single casks of Karuizawa. One was a 1984 sherry cask #4021, the other one this 1982 bourbon cask #8497. Yes, bourbon, if I’m not mistaken this is the first bourbon cask release I’m trying from this distillery. It is a TWE exclusive with a nice new koi label.


Karuizawa 1982 bourbon #8497Karuizawa 1982
(46%, first fill bourbon cask #8497)

Nose: a totally different beast than any other Karuizawa. This is a beautiful bourbon-style, with a lot of sweetness: peach jam, tinned pineapples, lemonade… Some honey and fruit candy. Hints of vanilla cake, a few floral notes too. It’s fairly oak-driven, with some plain oak shavings and ethereal notes, but that’s alright, it’s intense, elegant and playful at the same time. Mouth: funny how it was so punchy on the nose and on the palate I immediately expected more oomph. Only after a few seconds does it release its flavours. Fairly oaky again, with a slight tangy edge now. Sweet malty notes, a little vanilla sweetness again. Leather and wax. Ginger. Not a match for the nose though, it’s much more narrow and possibly too watered down – was the oakiness over the top at cask strength? Finish: long, with the oak spices and malt lingering on, and a new sparkle of fruitiness in the end.

An excellent experience to try a bourbon version of a dram that’s almost synonymous for heavy sherry maturation. Great nose, maybe not a complete success on the palate. Around € 225. Not sure whether it has completely sold out at the show or some remaining stock has yet to arrive on the TWE website. Update: now available.

Score: 88/100

Karuizawa 1982 (cask #8497) 4 Ruben Luyten 2012-10-15
  • Marco Nijholt

    They had quite a lot of bottles in the TWE Vinopolis shop this weekend! Not on their website tough…

  • WhiskyNotes

    It seems to be available now. Not for long probably.

  • Rogier

    Both this and the 1984 sherry cask #4021 are available right now. I know you’ll review #4021 soon, but if I wait it might be gone… Which one to choose? :)

  • WhiskyNotes

    The sherry cask gets higher points, but there have been better sherried examples in the past so you might want to choose the bourbon cask if you like a “wide” collection 😉



July 2015
« Jun    

  • WhiskyNotes: Good point Diego, it's important to coat the glass with whisky indeed. It helps it to evaporate and bring out the aromas, and take away the residuals
  • Diego Sandrin: i agree, N.5. The way i use it is i fill it up 2cl and then put it flat (horizontal) on the table, don't fill it more than 2cl or it will spill out, a
  • Basidium: I am partial to the Glencairn Crystal Canadian Whisky Glass as it is closer to what I am used to in a standard whiskey tumbler. It still narrows the t

Coming up

  • Bunnahabhain 1980 (Eiling Lim)
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  • Auchentoshan Heartwood
  • Elements of Islay Lp6
  • Glenlivet 1981 for TWE
  • Strathisla 1948/1961
  • Benromach 15 Years

1820 notes by Ruben

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