Single malt whisky - tasting notes

* Japan whisky reviews

Japanese whiskies are crafted in the Scottish style and comes in all kinds of profiles. Some lie between Lowland and Speyside in style, but sometimes they can be heavier, or peated. In the case of Karuizawa, it is mostly associated with dark sherry maturation.
Japanese whisky is highly regarded and received plenty of awards. No need to tell you prices have skyrocketed. However there is currently also a shortage of whisky in Japan – major producers like Nikka and Suntory have been forced to discontinue some of their (aged) expressions and replace them with younger versions – a situation which will probably continue until 2020-2025.

Akashi White Oak 5 yo (45%, OB 2011) – 67/100

Chichibu ‘On The Way’ (58,5%, OB 2013, 9900 btl.) – 83/100

Chichibu Newborn 4 months 2008 (62,5%, OB 2008, bourbon barrel #126) – 65/100

Hakushu 21 yo 1981 (60,7%, Single Malt Whisky Society 2003, SMWS 120.1, 373 btl.) – 86/100

Hakushu 20 yo 1989 (62%, OB 2009 for The Whisky Exchange, sherry butt #9O 50021) – 90/100

Hakushu 12 yo 1997 (56%, OB for Whisky-Live 2009, hogshead BJ41521) – 81/100

Hakushu ‘Distiller’s Reserve’ (43%, OB 2014) – 84/100

Hanyu 21 yo 1988 (55,6%, No.1 Drinks 2009, sherry butt #9306, 625 btl.) – 90/100

Hanyu 19 yo 1991 (56%, Nectar of the Daily Drams, cask #377, Red Oak heads) – 88/100

Hanyu 12 yo 2000 (57,5%, Ichiro’s Malt for Shinanoya 2012, red oak heads hogshead finish, cask #360, 309 btl.) – 90/100

Hanyu ‘The Joker’ (57,7%, OB 2014, multi-vintage, 3690 btl.) – 91/100

Ichiro’s Malt Double Distilleries (46%, OB 2010) – 81/100

Ichiro’s Malt Mizunara Wood Reserve (46%, OB 2010) – 78/100

Tasting of Japanese whisky, hosted by Stefan Van Eycken and organized by The Bonding Dram – 22/08/2013

Karuizawa 48 yo 1964 (57,7%, Number One Drinks for WealthSolutions 2013, cask #3603, 143 btl.) – 95/100

Karuizawa 42 yo 1967 (58,4%, OB 2009 for LMdW & TWE, cask #6426) – 95/100

Karuizawa 1968 (61,1%, OB 2010 for LMdW, sherry cask #6955, 210 btl.) – 90/100

Karuizawa 42 yo 1969 (61,3%, Number One Drinks 2012, bourbon cask #8183) – 90/100

Karuizawa 42 yo 1970 (64,3%, Number One Drinks 2012, sherry butt #6177, 326 btl.) – 92/100

Karuizawa 1971 (62,8%, OB for Taiwan 2012, cask #7267, 467 btl.) – 92/100

Karuizawa 36yo 1972 (65%, OB 2008, cask #7290, Japanese wine cask, 528 btl.) – 92/100

Karuizawa 32 yo 1976 Noh (63%, OB 2009, sherry butt #6719, 486 btl.) – 92/100

Karuizawa 34 yo 1977 (64,1%, OB for Taiwan 2011, sherry butt #3584, 169 btl.) – 90/100

Karuizawa 35 yo 1977 (65,9%, OB 2012, sherry butt #4010, 427 btl.) – 93/100

Karuizawa 32 yo 1977 (60,7%, OB 2010, cask 4592, 190 btl.) – 91/100

Karuizawa 31 yo 1980 (56,4%, OB 2011, sherry butt #6568) – 78/100

Karuizawa 33 yo 1981 (54,5%, OB for LMdW 2014, sherry cask #152, 566 btl.) – 93/100

Karuizawa 31 yo 1981 (66,3%, OB for The Nectar 2013, sherry butt #4333, 94 btl.) – 91/100

Karuizawa 31 yo 1981 (60,0%, Shinanoya 2012, bourbon barrel #4961, 228 btl.) – 86/100

Karuizawa 1981 (58,3%, OB for LMdW 2011, sherry butt #6207, 543 btl.) – 89/100

Karuizawa 30 yo 1981 (55,8%, N°1 Drinks for LMdW, sherry butt #162, 584 btl.) – 94/100

Karuizawa 31 yo 1981 (62,8%, OB for Prineus 2012, Sakura series, sherry cask #158, 45 btl.) – 94/100

Karuizawa 1982 (46%, first fill bourbon cask #8497) – 88/100

Karuizawa 27 yo 1982 (56,1%, OB 2009 for The Whisky Exchange 10th Anniversary, sherry cask #2748) – 90/100

Karuizawa 1983 ‘Nepal Appeal’ (59%, OB for The Whisky Exchange 2014, sherry cask #3557, 50 btl.) – 93/100

Karuizawa 28 yo 1983 ‘Noh’ (57,2%, No.1 Drinks 2012, sherry butt #7576, 571 btl.) – 93/100

Karuizawa 27 yo 1984 (57,7%, OB for Japan 2012, cask #2961, 350 btl.) – 91/100

Karuizawa 28 yo 1984 (58%, OB for P9.com.tw 2012, sherry butt #3186, 540 btl.) – 91/100

Karuizawa 29 yo 1984 (56,8%, OB for The Whisky Exchange 2013, first fill sherry cask #3663, +/- 250 btl.) – 91/100

Karuizawa 1984 (61,6%, OB 2012, sherry butt #3692, 359 btl.) – 87/100

Karuizawa 1984 (64,5%, The Whisky Exchange 2012, first fill sherry cask #4021) – 90/100

Karuizawa 28 yo 1984 (59,3%, N°1 Drinks for LMdW 2012, sherry butt #7975, 445 btl.) – 91/100

Karuizawa 1985 (60,8%, OB 2009, cask #7017) – 89/100

Karuizawa 1988 (59,8%, OB 2006, cask #3397) – 87/100

Karuizawa 19 yo 1988 (58,3%, The Whisky Fair 2007, refill butt, 480 btl.) – 85/100

Karuizawa 19 yo 1990 (60%, OB for Whisky Live 10th Anniversary 2009, sherry butt #6446) – 85/100

Karuizawa 1991 (62,5%, OB 2007, sherry cask #3318) – 86/100

Karuizawa 21 yo 1991 ‘The School of Malt – lesson III’ (63,7%, No.1 Drinks 2012, sherry butt #9091, selected by Dave Broom) – 87/100

Karuizawa 19 yo 1991 (60,8%, OB 1991, sherry butt #3206) – 86/100

Karuizawa 12 yo 2000 (64,3%, OB for LMdW 2013, sherry butt #166) – 85/100

Karuizawa Vintage 45 yo 1967 (59,6%, OB for Taiwan 2012, Aqua of Life, sherry butt #2725, 310 btl.) – 94/100

Karuizawa 27 yo ‘Multi-vintages #1’ (59,1%, OB 2011, sherry butt & bourbon casks #6405, 4973, 8184, 6437, 1500 btl.) – 91/100

Karuizawa 11yo ‘Spirit of Asama’ (48%, The Whisky Exchange 2012, vatting) – 82/100
Karuizawa 11yo ‘Spirit of Asama’ (55%, The Whisky Exchange 2012, vatting) – 85/100

Karuizawa ‘Wait La Mazurka’ 31 yo 1977 (62,7%, Daily Dram 2009) – 91/100

Nikka 12 yo ‘Single coffey malt’ (55%, OB 2008, 3027 btl.) – 73/100

Nikka ‘From the barrel’ (51,4%, OB 2010, 50cl) – 80/100

Nikka Miyagikyo 15 yo (45%, OB 2011) – 84/100

Nikka Miyagikyo 1988 (50%, OB 2008, 1500 btl.) – 88/100

Nikka Miyagikyo 23 yo 1988 (57%, OB 2011, cask #92414) – 88/100

Nikka Miyagikyo 9 yo 2002 (62%, OB 2012, refill butt #101127, 517 btl.) – 88/100

Nikka Pure Malt Black (43%, OB 2009, 50cl) – 82/100

Nikka Pure Malt White (43%, OB 2010, 50cl) – 75/100

Nikka Taketsuru 21 yo (43%, OB) – 83/100

Nikka Taketsuru 35 yo (43%, OB 2008, 1000 btl.) – 92/100

Nikka Yoichi 10y (45%, OB, batch 08G34B) – 83/100

Nikka Yoichi 1991 (58%, OB 2009 for La Maison du Whisky, single cask #129374) – 92/100

Nikka Yoichi 20 yo (52%, OB 2008, 22G10B) – 91/100

Yamazaki 12 yo (43%, OB 2013) – 81/100

Yamazaki 18 yo (43%, OB 2008, L8CP3) – 90/100

Yamazaki ‘Vintage Malt’ 1980 (56%, OB 2004, refill sherry) – 90/100

Yamazaki 15y 1982 (45%, OB 1997, Sherry Wood) – 85/100

Yamazaki 1990 (60%, OB 2008, sherry cask #0N70645, 471 btl.) – 88/100

Yamazaki 12 yo 1996 (60%, OB for Whisky-Live Japan 2009, sherry butt AX70012) – 86/100

Yamazaki 25 yo (43%, OB +/- 2010) – 87/100

Yamazaki Distiller’s Reserve (43%, OB 2014) – 87/100

Yamazaki Puncheon (48%, OB 2013) – 84/100

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Coming up

  • Highland Park 1995 (Whisky Mercenary)
  • Laphroaig Lp6 (Elements of Islay)
  • Irish Single Malt 27yo 1988 (The Nectar of the Daily Drams)
  • Irish Single Malt 16yo 1999 (The Nectar of the Daily Drams)
  • Bunnahabhain 1987 (Maltbarn)
  • Glen Garioch 1993 (Maltbarn)
  • Glenlivet 42yo (Cadenhead)
  • Auchentoshan 1994 (Whisky Agency)
  • Blended Malt Extra Old (Whisky Agency)
  • Woodford Reserve Master's Collection
  • Teeling 26yo Vintage Reserve
  • Springbank 2001 vintage

1860 notes by Ruben

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