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Karuizawa 1981/2012 for LMdW, cask 162

Another superb mark for Karuizawa

0 491

nReview by @numen

3rd Feb 2013

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  • Nose
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  • Taste
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  • Finish
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  • Balance
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  • Overall
    91

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Distribution of ratings for this: brand user

from a purchased sample

Nose: Surprisingly quiet at first. Strawberries and cherries open the show, and eventually an elegant stream of 'dirty' sherry emerges, along with brown sugar paste simmering with dark medjool dates, plums, cinnamon, and sawdust. More refined than robust, especially for one of these Karuizawa. (with water) Sherry, cedar, brown sugar, and salty meat. Rather softer and sweeter here, almost bourbony, though more richly fruity.

Palate: BAM! Honey, orange, light red fruit, and then a volley of cannons (it's the gunpowder). A little meaty, especially after the mid-palate. Salt and fruit open and close this baby. (with water) Do you like dates and figs? I sure do. So this is great. There is some wood and a drop of bacon grease and salt for good measure.

Finish: Ham, dirty sherry, candied dates, oranges, and wood. Really great stuff. My only complaint is that the nose was as subdued/mellow as it was at first (water helped a little), and the gunpowder was a bit of a shock. I'd have preferred a bit less, but I can't complain too much. I like these things. A lot.

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4 comments

@Pierre_W
Pierre_W commented

I have a bottle of this at home. Good to see that you liked it. In my opinion this is one of the older Karuizawa bottlings that completely live up to the hype. I particularly liked the whiff of smoke right at the end. Wonder whether you got that.

6 years ago 0

numen commented

These early 80s Karuizawa bottlings are really just fantastic, aren't they? I didn't recall 'clean' smoke that much, but, in the interest of science or something I cracked open the rest of my purchased sample. The smoke becomes more apparent to me (on the nose) after a few sips. I get more of it on the palate/finish than the nose, and it strikes me a bit from being the tail end of the 'gunpowder' quality, which I do like.

6 years ago 0

@Pierre_W
Pierre_W commented

I wholeheartedly agree with you. I have not tried too many Karuizawas from the early 80s but what I was able to sample was stellar. Also, with cask #162 I get the smoke at the very end of the palate/finish and did not detect it on the nose. Seems to be similar to your tasting experience. I'll actually soon participate in a 'Japanese Rarities Tasting' where they'll open a bottle of both the recent 1969 and 1970 Karuizawa bottlings, and I am curious to compare my tasting notes with yours.

6 years ago 0

numen commented

That sounds like an incredible experience, and I'll be looking forward to reading your take on those bottlings. I haven't had many, but even the ex-bourbon Karuizawas have been top notch, with absolutely gorgeous vanilla on the nose. I'm sure that you're going to love them, too!

6 years ago 0

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