Another The Whisky Exchange exclusive, presented at the Whisky Show. This is a 1984 sherry cask #4021, bottled at cask strength in the same Koi label series.
Karuizawa 1984 (64,5%, The Whisky Exchange 2012, first fill sherry cask #4021)
Nose: very punchy but also quite fragrant / fruity for a Karuizawa. Not too dark, no fireworks or mushrooms, or very much in the background anyway. Evolves on sweet fruity notes (plums, strawberry jam) as well as more sourish notes (raspberry, tobacco juice). Hints of potpourri. Cedar wood and cinnamon bark. Soft incense and a veil of paint varnish. Some leather.
Mouth: hot but nicely all-round. There’s some Christmas cake, all-spice, ginger and cinnamon. It also shows smoke and (subtle but clearly present) earthy peat, in fact one of the more Islay-esk Karuizawas I’ve come across. Turns drier and more floral. It also shows some herbal notes and a faint bitterness of dark chocolate in the end. Some dry oak too.
Finish: very long, dry, slightly herbal and oaky, with a warming end.
A variation on the classic Karuizawa theme. There’s the common intensity but also a certain fruity freshness that even anti-Japanese whisky enthusiasts will appreciate. The subtle peat smoke is also worth discovering. Around € 250. Sold out at TWE I’m afraid.
Check Nonjatta for more Japanese whisky.