First tasting for Japanese-whisky.com, and actually for us the very first tasting of a Karuizawa ! It will be the Karuizawa Tokyo International Bar Show 2012. It was during this event that was bottled the cask #2565 containing a mix of the last 1999 and 2000 barrels of single malt distilled in Karuizawa (now closed).
After the closure of Karuizawa distillery, Number One Drinks (on behalf of an asian firm) decided to recover the last few hundred casks and moved them in Chichibu, a new japanese distillery founded by Ichiro Akuto (founder of Venture Whisky). It is therefore, the Chichibu's master blender who selected and "vatted" together some 1999 and 2000 remaining casks and then put them back in a "marrying cask" for further maturation. Only a small number of these have now been bottled at "cask strength" (natural alcoholic degree of the barrel).
I've been waiting for a while to taste my first Karuizawa ! A whisky collector offered by my friends Hervé, Alexandre and Frédéric for my birthday.
Shipped in an elegant and sober carton case signed by Number One Drinks Company (european distributor of Venture Whisky), the transparent bottle is decorated with a nice label specifically created for the Tokyo International Bar Show 2012. It’s a black and white drawing representing a barmaid preparing an “ice ball” whisky. This is indeed one of the Japanese whiskies specific aspects : being original in both flavors, labels and bottle shapes.
Now let's open the bottle and taste it !
Review by Nicolas