Friday, February 15, 2013

Karuizawa 1981 30 Years Old: Cask # 162


Vintage: 1981 - Bottled: 2012 - Single Sherry Butt - Cask #162 - ABV: 55.8% - Bottled for: LMDW - Cocktail Series

Nose: No need to rush this elegant gem. Allow time to open up the assortment of welcoming aromas: sugar coated peanuts; sweet pipe tobacco mellowed with rum and wine, honey-sweet tangerine jam, and tinned fruit salad syrup with an emphasis on pitted cherries. In the background there are also teasing waves of Kurikinton: mashed sweet potato with roasted chestnuts.

Taste: A sophisticated peppery introduction, which transits to baked-charred potato skins with a few grains of shaved rock salt. As with the nose mild pipe tobacco mellowed in rum and wine, sweet mango and orange chutney, boiled asparagus, and dark chocolate-covered mildly roasted coffee beans. A dash of water brings out the most delicate hint of cabin-fire smoke on the roof of your mouth. 

Finish: Mild pepper, long, and lingering with all the above elements tantalizing your palate.

Comment: Compared to others - who equally have the Karuizawa syndrome - I haven't tried as many of the older vintage expressions as some. However, from what I have tried I’m comfortable to say this package is the best I've tasted and certainly a favourite - without any hype attached. Karuizawa has at times been associated with having a big sulphur influence in both aroma and taste, especially with some of the older vintages, however in my opinion this contains no trace of such an odor.

Note: This review was taken from a 200ml sample decanted from the freshly opened 700ml original bottling. On almost every occasion Whiskies R Us only reviews from full whole bottles self-purchased. However, on this occasion, this exceptional whisky, which I must confess is out of my price range, was kindly received from a malt mate and too good to pass up the opportunity for a review. Check out Pierre's review (here).


Reviewed by Clint A

7 comments:

  1. Great review! This seems to be one of those older epxressions that live up to the hype. Good to hear that there is no sulphur influence. Looks as if this Karuizawa is a whisky to be tasted on special occasions.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for the kind words, Pierre. This was very pleasurable indeed...an expression that did live up to the hype. Once again, cheers.

      Delete
  2. Sounds like a real winner. I just can't afford these older expressions. Also, there is the fear of picking one that falls flat. Similar to trying to select a bottle of Port Ellen but more difficult in someways as Karuizawa's sell out so quickly.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Chris (Whiskywall), yes a winner in my opinion. All though I have not tried all four expressions from the "cocktail series" that were bottled for LMDW, this is a right winner, compared to other expressions and vintage Karuizawa's I have tried. Lets face it and forget the hype, there have been times some of these have fallen flat, therefore it is totally natural to have "fear". I can't afford these either, especially this particular bottling that I believe retailed for 320 EU. It will be interesting to see the pricing structure when the US get shipments.

      Delete
  3. Hey,

    I'm enjoying your blog, and finding it useful. I've just been doing a bit of research into Japanese whisky because I'm visiting Vietnam in a couple of weeks, and am hoping there'll be some good deals in the duty free! Check my blog if you want to find out how I got on.

    Thanks again,

    Neil Cake
    dihuli.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Niel, don't get too excited. I was in Vietnam a while back and the duty free there is quite bland. HCMC had the standard - and I do mean very standard, nothing Japanese as far as I can remember. However, there should be something there for your liking regarding Scotch or other spirits.

      All the best

      Delete
    2. P.s thank you for the kind words and enjoying what I'm doing here at WRU. I will make sure to check to see how you got on.

      Regards,
      Clint

      Delete