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.
Reviewed by Clint A