Review by Nonjatta contributor - Serge Valentin
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"Karuizawa 26 yo Vintage 1979 (59.5%, OB, cask #7752, 25cl)
Colour: Deep amber.
Nose: More expressive than the 29 Vintage but the sherry still is less dominant than in the 31 Vintage at first nosing, sort of cleaner, the whole being maltier and nuttier. But quick, water... Yes! Kind of a blend of the 31 Vintage and 29 Vintage. Maybe subtler, less wham- bam. Antique shop, roasted nuts and various herbal teas. And grilled tea (Ho-chicha, Japanese indeed). Less jammy than the 31 Vintage and less gingery than the 29 Vintage. More straightforward I’d say, but just as totally enjoyable.
Mouth (neat): We’re approaching drinkability at 59%. Lots of fruit jams but also a huge vinosity and quite some rubber. But water is needed again: it’s funny, this time it got much mintier and more camphory. We have also argan oil, tea, bergamot, kumquats... Again, it’s more straightforward and less marked by the sherry than its elder bros.
Finish: Maybe a little shorter than the other ones’ but slightly cleaner again, on smoked almonds and oak. Good dryness. No reasons to rate this one lower than 90 points." (Serge`s scoring system is explained on this page.)
59.5 per cent (abv)
The picture above is of a small 250 ml bottle. This one is also available in a 700ml for which you may have to pay between 30,000 and 40,000 yen. This shop sells this range.