08 Nov 2013
Karuizawa 1977 (cask #4010 for Taiwan)
Tasting notes by Ruben Luyten - Posted in * Japan
A Karuizawa 1977 with a Geisha label. Just like the 1971 cask #7267 (released at the same time), it was bottled in 2012 but not released until the summer of 2013. Both extremely hard to get, even in Taiwan.
I don’t think I’ve ever seen a whisky with such a striking brown colour. Sherry tends to impart some red hues as well, but not this time.
Karuizawa 35 yo 1977 (65,9%, OB 2012, sherry butt #4010, 427 btl.)
Nose: very high on tobacco notes. Cigar leaves and pipe tobacco. Evolves on forest aromas like wet soil and moss. Hints of overripe fruits (pineapple, figs). Pepper and cinnamon. Walnut husks and macadamia nuts. Cedar wood and soft incense. After a while… crème anglaise as well. Complex and sophisticated. Relatively accessible too. Mouth: much more powerful, much more smoky as well. Tons of milk chocolate. Allspice. Sweet black tea, as well as freshly roasted coffee beans. Kahlua or Heering Coffee. Fruity notes in the background (pineapple with citrus). Tobacco, yes. A painting with a narrow colour palette maybe, although there are many tiny flavours and the smoke makes it special. Finish: long, smoky and chocolaty with liquorice and pepper growing bigger, as well as hints of cinnamon chewing gum.
Well, this looks and tastes ‘brown’, if you know what I mean. Coffee, tobacco, chocolate, not the usual red fruit / raisin sherry. Quite unique, even for Karuizawa. Excellent though.