Karuizawa 1967 42 YO Cask #6426, 58,4 %
It has been a while since last I reviewed a whisky from long closed Japanese distillery Karuizawa, and it will likely be longer still till next time. These whiskies are becoming very rare and very expensive. It was therefore a special occasion when I got to try this Karuizawa 1967 42 YO Cask #6426 last week.
This particular single cask whisky was actually bottled on two occasions, and I am assuming half-and-half. The bottle I tried (see my image) was distilled in 1967 and bottled on 2009-08-17 for La Maison du Whisky. If you have a look at the entries on Whiskybase.com you will see that the same whisky (same cask number), was also bottled on 2009-08-24, to commemorate that the TWE had been 10 Years Online. The LMdW release had an outturn of 229 bottles, while the TWE release had an outturn of 195 bottles. The whisky was matured in a sherry butt.
Apparently one bottle of the TWE release is for sale online, at € 13500!
Nose: Wow! All things Christmas, only deeply concentrated. Dates, figs, apricots, raisins, (slightly burnt) caramel, cinnamon, nutmeg and mahogany. In other words, this is a rich and intense sherry matured whisky. The fruitiness is amazing, and so rich and deep. After a few minutes I also pick up on a slightly medicinal note here, bandages and iodine.
Taste: Again very, very intense. This is not for the faint of heart, that’s for sure. Fruity, yes. Deep and dark, yes. Pepper, leather, old Chesterfield furniture, mahogany, dates, figs, raisins, apricots, and cinnamon.
Finish: To say this dram has a long finish would be a big understatement. I can still taste it! Continues as it started, really. Towards the end add more caramel, oaky spices, a soft burnt character and mild bitterness. It is not too oaky in any way. It is still very much vibrant and alive!
Comments: This is actually a dram and an experience that is difficult to sum up, and to score. It is intensely intense, massively massive, and really, really challenging. It is certainly an acquired taste. This is not a whisky for everyone (never mind the insane price), for many it will be just too much. But to me this was a unique experience. A treasure.