Single malt whisky - tasting notes

21 Jan 2013

Karuizawa 1969 (cask #8183)

Posted by: Ruben Luyten In: * Japan

Very few 1960’s casks of Karuizawa have been rescued from this lost distillery, the oldest one dating back to 1960. This one is a 400 litre ex-bourbon cask, most likely the oldest of this type.

 

Karuizawa 1969 cask 8183 bourbonKaruizawa 42 yo 1969 (61,3%, Number One Drinks 2012, bourbon cask #8183)

Nose: very bold bourbon oak influence. Different sorts of warm wood, sandalwood, cedar from cigar boxes, some thuja… In fact I like this kind of oakiness, it’s elegant and matches the oriental character. There’s also varnish and solventy notes. Leather. Underneath it has apricot jam, yellow plums and vanilla-coated berry cake. Touches of mint, with floral overtones. Mouth: this is where the wood starts to show more astrigency. Fruits are now heavily infused fruit tea. Slightly tangy ginger and clove as well. A little coconut oil. Unfortunately also a planky note which coats your mouth and a little tobacco sourness. Orange peel. Spruce needles. Again some flowery touches. Finish: long, quite floral and heady. Mint and traces of the apricot jam.

Of course the bourbon cask makes it difficult to compare, but I’d still say this is much closer to the Karuizawa 1968 than to the legendary Karuizawa 1967. The nose is too good to let it drop below 90 points, but on the palate I’m having some trouble with the abundance and dryness of the bourbon wood. Around € 750.

Score: 90/100

Karuizawa 1969 (cask #8183) 4 Ruben Luyten 2013-01-21
  • Robert77

    How on earth did they manage to keep this at 61.3% ABV after 42 years of aging in cask? Wow!

  • Charlie

    Karuizawa 1968 Cask #6955 € 285, this 1969 € 750.Wow! too.

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  • Roberto Sikora: This is really a great, great bottling. One of my favourite Littlemills so far... :-) Thank you, Ruben for this review!
  • george: i see you have tried st magdalene and say it is harder to find i am a collector of st magdalene and i have 40 bottles i am selling these date from 196
  • sjoerd972: I wish the guys at Bushmills would demand the labels to say "Northern Ireland" so we didn't have to speculate on the booze's origins.

Coming up

  • Bowmore Devil's Casks - Batch 2
  • Tomatin 1988 (Malts of Scotland)
  • Aberfeldy 12 Year Old
  • Blair Athol 2002 (Hepburn's Choice)
  • Fettercairn Fior
  • Bowmore Laimrig 15yo
  • Ben Nevis 2002 (Port cask #334)

1600 notes by Ruben

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