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To celebrate receiving my order of the first casks of Karuizawa sold in the US courtesy of K&L in California, I cracked open my bottle of the 1999/2013 13 Year Old Noh series. I really enjoyed it last night, and thought about it during the day, but wanted to have another session with it before scoring the notes. I stopped taking notes mid-way through the first session, opting to just enjoy what I was experiencing.
I then went at this one twice today to take and compare/combine notes.
Nose: There's a really charming and medium weight malty fudginess wafting at the forefront. Behind it is a rich smattering of fruit and the faintest wisp of 'dirty sherry' smoke and light sulphur (no match-sticks, folks). Maraschino cherries in liqueur, mango, papaya. Lots of sweet yellow and red tropical fruits, and the savory elements balance out the sweetness very well. It smells thick, sticky, and syrupy. (with water) Water really brings out a melange of fresh and sticky fruit - mango, papaya, pineapple, cherries, you get the idea. Some ashy cigar, smoke, and sandalwood and other softly spiced wood.
Palate: Thick, rich, and rather sticky. More savory than the nose would have suggested. Earth behind a softly sulphury sherry (no ham or gunpowder, either). Clay, or something like it. Dry cherry, syrup, and weak ristretto coffee. Really precocious and richly superb. (with water) Some of the fruit is still there at first, but it turns more to chocolate fudgy malt (subtle) that you sometimes get in Karuizawas of this age and vintage, more refined coffee, a sense of umami, a little more dirty sherry, burned cherries in syrup. More oily than sticky syrup. Exceptionally graceful and elegant.
Finish: The fine (superb) coffee, light dry sandalwood, earth remain (especially after water), and the sweet fruit essence remains (especially neat). It's intensely sap like, as though a ripe mango and cherries were just oozing nectar. Many of the same fruits as before. It's a champ through and through. I thought about it all day after last night's foray. Cheers to the boys at K&L for this one. It's just the sort of thing that I love in Karuizawa, and here it's done so well. KAMPAI!