Single malt whisky - tasting notes

13 Sep 2013

Karuizawa 1984 (cask #2961)

Posted by: Ruben Luyten In: * Japan

Recently a generous Taiwanese friend sent me a great selection of samples, all from single cask Karuizawa expressions that are very hard to get outside of Asia. Thanks again, I really appreciate it!

Where to start… with the youngest one maybe? Karuizawa 1984 cask #2961, bottled for Japan. It features a rice paper label, completely in Japanese calligraphy. Other parts of this cask have been bottled for different purposes (120 bottles for the ANA Intercontinental hotel in Tokyo among others).

 

Karuizawa 1984 #2961 JapanKaruizawa 27 yo 1984 (57,7%, OB for Japan 2012, cask #2961, 350 btl.)

Nose: a very oriental expression that’s also surprisingly high on glue notes and oil paint. I love that. Polished cedar oak. Opens up on raspberry jam, strawberries and sour plums. Raisins. Rhubarb! Also hints of fragrant lemon skin. Just a small nutty note and cigar leaves in the background. Very refined with the waxed oak theme ever-present. Mouth: very powerful, a lot of sandalwood and cedar again. Big big tobacco notes. Dates and raisins. Dark chocolate. Nutmeg. Sugar coated pecans. A little balsamic and liquorice. Develops tiny fragrant, perfumy notes as well. Overall quite dry. Finish: long, elegant, with brambles and cocoa powder. Some tannins as well.

I adore the nose of this Karuizawa. It’s oak-driven, but in a way that’s necessary to get this kind of oriental profile. I started with a higher score, but while sipping it lost some points because the dryness gets a little overpowering – even with water. Around € 550.

Score: 91/100

Karuizawa 1984 (cask #2961) 4.5 Ruben Luyten 2013-09-13
  • Tim F

    About a dozen bottles of this cask were also done as Partners Reserve last year with a very slightly different label.

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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.