13 Sep 2013
Karuizawa 1984 (cask #2961)
Tasting notes by Ruben Luyten - Posted 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 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.