Distilled: 2000 - Bottled: 2013 - Bottled for: Isetan department store - ABV: 60.9%
Nose: A complexity of sweet and savory. Black forest cake, fried mushrooms in soy sauce, and both sweet and salty licorice. Refined sherry, raspberry tart biscuits, chocolate rum balls, and Vegemite. Very clean given the abv. Water adds orange sherbet candy and tangy orange (vitamin C tablet). Then there is fragrant rubber bands in the distant with coffee liqueur: Kahlua? Quite meaty on the last leg.
Taste: Prune sherry and Vegemite. Again quite smooth with cinnamon gum, spicey and sweet chutney, fragrant rubber, and black bean sauce. Past this you get Dr.Pepper, black cherry and dark bitter chocolate. Water allows a nice mocha attribute to surface along with mild licorice and bitter peel.
Finish: Gingered burdock, walnuts, and burnt black cherry then, black bean sauce.
Comment: No hype involved - a stellar cask, this young Karuizawa puts most of the older expressions I have tried to shame (mind you I haven't tried many). I'll go out on a whim and say this is my one of my second favourite "young" Karuizawa's. The first being Memories of Karuizawa 13yo. Another one of those "I wish I had a second bottle". Great play between savory and sweet, well balanced and complex.