Karuizawa whiskies are rarely boring. This is one of the most interesting and courageous distilleries in Japan. Sometimes, you might add "uncompromising" to that description. I notice, looking down my sidebar, that I have not, until now, gone overboard in my ratings of Karuizawa`s products. Funny that, because I always look forward to pouring their whiskies. Perhaps I am just very boring in my whisky tastes?
Anyway, I loved this one (Number One Drinks Co. Bottling, Karuizawa Distillery, Cask 3330, Distilled 1992, Bottled 2007). A sample was sent to me a while back by the Number One Drinks Company but I held onto my notes because I was afraid of the post getting swamped by the flood of Yamazaki reviews that I have been publishing. So, without further ado:
Smell: At first,there are strong earthy and plastic notes. Sweeter tones emerged: nipped candle smoke, butterscotch hard sweets, honey in warm water. Taste: A big blast, very reminiscent of Karuizawa Single Cask 1986, which is also distributed by the Number One Drinks Co. Again, I was left reeling with the aggressive attack: like chewing green twigs. But this one seemed to be much more under control than its older sibling. There was a passing suggestion of rubber and petrol station forecourt but, when the sweetness came, It tasted of delicious dark chocolate and sweet cigarettes. I don't smoke but it was very moreish. At the end, a saline theme developed. Predictably, it stood up well to a fair dash of water - fizzy, dark chocolate tastes came early - but personally, despite its strength, I would take this one with barely a drop . This is the first Karuizawa I have really enthused over. It will not be the last.
Abv 61.5 per cent