This is the youngest single cask Karuizawa I’ve tried (and when you think about it, it will probably remain the youngest I’ll ever try). It was distilled in 2000, the last year of production at the distillery, and bottled in 2013 for La Maison du Whisky. It was made available on the 16th of May and sold out in a few hours.
Karuizawa 12 yo 2000 (64,3%, OB for LMdW 2013, sherry butt #166)
Nose: quite fruity, mainly red apples and plums. Traces of apricot. Cinnamon and vanilla. Tarte tatin indeed. Some honey. Faint herbal overtones. Nicely rounded, but also a little simple and inoffensive compared to older Karuizawa.
Mouth: sweet at first, starting on rum & raisins, quickly picking up herbal notes, mint, ginger and general heat, until it becomes dry with notes of tea and walnuts. Some winey (Port) notes as well, including tannins. Takes water well, but doesn’t really bring back the roundness of the nose.
Finish: fairly long, herbal and savoury. Still some raisins but most of the fruits are gone by now.
Mixed feelings. When you forget about the typical Karuizawa profile, then the nose is really nice. Fresh (no mushrooms or rubber), just a little simple. On the palate, it’s a tad too dry and mono-dimensional with quite some wine coming out. In the same league as the Asama expressions in my opinion. Around € 120. Sold out at LMdW but usually some of their stock goes to foreign distributors afterwards. Thanks Joeri!