Asama is a vatting of 1999 and 2000 Karuizawa, bottled by Number One Drinks around 2012. In the same period, The Whisky Exchange bottled two Spirit of Asama expressions, all composed with some of the remaining sherry butts from the final vintages of Karuizawa. Apparently they didn’t believe in additional maturation, or simply wanted to release something affordable.
Karuizawa Asama was first available in Sweden en then also in the rest of Europe. They were priced quite reasonably back then, but of course they’re now reaching crazy prices.
Karuizawa Asama 1999 + 2000
(46%, OB 2012)
Nose: typical nose for younger Karuizawa, with a fair dose of rubbery notes and mushrooms. Then also tobacco leaves and wet oak. Some dates and nougat in the background. A bit of orange peel and leather. Not bad.
Mouth: fairly light for a Karuizawa of course. Mostly on oranges, raisins and cinnamon. Still a light gunpowdery and rubbery note. Cardamom. Burnt brown sugar. A faint salty touch too.
Finish: medium long, spicy, with some metallic hints and always that sulphury edge.
Interesting, but it’s not up there with the bigger Karuizawas, dragged down by some sulphur. A vague image of what Karuizawa can be, so slightly disappointing, but we were prepared. Around € 75 when it was released, now around € 350 or so. Thanks Gunther.