21 Jan 2013
Karuizawa 1969 (cask #8183)
Tasting notes by Ruben Luyten - Posted 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 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.