Single malt whisky - tasting notes

16 Oct 2012

Karuizawa 1984 (cask #4021)

Tasting notes by Ruben Luyten - Posted in * Japan

Another The Whisky Exchange exclusive, presented at the Whisky Show. This is a 1984 sherry cask #4021, bottled at cask strength in the same Koi label series.


Karuizawa 1984 #4021 TWEKaruizawa 1984 (64,5%, The Whisky Exchange 2012, first fill sherry cask #4021)

Nose: very punchy but also quite fragrant / fruity for a Karuizawa. Not too dark, no fireworks or mushrooms, or very much in the background anyway. Evolves on sweet fruity notes (plums, strawberry jam) as well as more sourish notes (raspberry, tobacco juice). Hints of potpourri. Cedar wood and cinnamon bark. Soft incense and a veil of paint varnish. Some leather. Mouth: hot but nicely all-round. There’s some Christmas cake, all-spice, ginger and cinnamon. It also shows smoke and (subtle but clearly present) earthy peat, in fact one of the more Islay-esk Karuizawas I’ve come across. Turns drier and more floral. It also shows some herbal notes and a faint bitterness of dark chocolate in the end. Some dry oak too. Finish: very long, dry, slightly herbal and oaky, with a warming end.

A variation on the classic Karuizawa theme. There’s the common intensity but also a certain fruity freshness that even anti-Japanese whisky enthusiasts will appreciate. The subtle peat smoke is also worth discovering. Around € 250. Sold out at TWE I’m afraid.

Check Nonjatta for more Japanese whisky.

Score: 90/100

Karuizawa 1984 (cask #4021) 4 Ruben Luyten 2012-10-16
  • Rogier

    Apparently they found some more bottles, as it’s back on the shelf at TWE.

  • Cavalier

    Smoke is very apparent here – adds enticingly to the mix of flavours. Excellent and complex whisky.



November 2015
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Coming up

  • Amrut 2009 (cask #2701)
  • Lagavulin 12 Years (2015)
  • Lindores 2015 festival bottling
  • Old Blended Malt (Eiling Lim)
  • 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.