No, I didn’t win the lottery that was used to randomly assign bottles of this Karuizawa 1984 cask #3663 to potential buyers. I think The Whisky Exchange came up with a pretty fair solution for the problem of high demand that has become hard to avoid with Karuizawa releases.
On the other hand, I think this is mostly a solution for the problem of high server load, which most online retailer are not capable of handling. Buying Karuizawa has always been a lottery, maybe not openly so, but a lottery of getting information and being awake at the right moment nonetheless.
Karuizawa 29 yo 1984 (56,8%, OB for The Whisky Exchange 2013, first fill sherry cask #3663, +/- 250 btl.)
Nose: quite meaty at first, and full of oriental wood as well. Cedar oak and polished sandalwood all over. Roasted notes, some damp earth and wet leafs, cigars and cinnamon bark. Used leather. Faint asphalt / rubber too. Dark tea and liquorice.
Mouth: starts on lots of plum syrup and cloves, black cherries, coffee beans, toffee and dark cocoa bars with raisins inside. Some sourness as well, in between a leafy sourness (tobacco), medicinal acidity and citrus. Aniseed. Charred oak and coal smoke. Nutmeg.
Finish: very long, spicy and sour, with plenty of sweet oak and coffee.
Very big, charred, dry & sour Karuizawa. With all this power, it’s clear that it misses some of the elegance and perfectly layered complexity of other bottlings. Lottery price: around € 400. Thanks for the sample, Joeri!