I know some friends who have open bottles of Karuizawa, but they were usually opened before the prices exploded. Who still opens them now?
This Karuizawa 1981 cask #152 was part of the 2014 collection from La Maison du Whisky, which included four Karuizawas from the late 1970s and 1981.
Karuizawa 33 yo 1981 (54,5%, OB for LMdW 2014, sherry cask #152, 566 btl.)
Nose: the nicest humidors, with lots of tobacco notes (cigars but pipes even more) and exotic woods like cedar and thuja. Big fruity notes too, strawberry jams and blackberries. Thyme, dried porcini. Some hickory smoke after a while. Pu-erh tea. Old roses, hints of lokum even. We tried this alongside the Karuizawa Nepal Appeal and I prefer this nose.
Mouth: not as bloated as some other Karuizawas, slightly more docile. The same interplay of sweet berries and dark prunes, spices (thyme, cumin, nutmeg) and earthy smoke. Bergamot and blood oranges in a second wave. Then back to tobacco leaves and some very light medicinal herbs.
Finish: very long, but this is where it looses a point. Drier than the Nepal bottling, showing more earthy notes, more smoke and more tannins, eased by some chocolate and eucalyptus.
One of the best Karuizawa noses ever, in my opinion. Too bad for the dryness in the end. Originally € 515, now around € 4000 in auctions. Thanks for popping it, Joeri, highly appreciated.