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Shizuoka New Make Karuizawa Still


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@markjedi1Review by @markjedi1

2nd Feb 2021


  • Nose
  • Taste
  • Finish
  • Balance
  • Overall

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  • Brand: Shizuoka
  • ABV: 63.5%

The new Japanese distillery Shizuoka – founded in 2016 – has no less than three stills from the lost legend Karuizawa. Unfortunately two of those are in such bad shape that they can only be used as museum pieces – so they are indeed on display in honor of Karuizawa. The third is in use and this new make was distilled in that legendary pot still. I put it head-to-head with the new make from their ‘wood fired still’. Both new makes were launched by my good friend Bert Bruyneel of Asta Morris. I bright future ahead I think.

Typical new make notes, nicely clean, but contrary to the wood fired still, this one is not so much umami as it is sweet. Reminds me a bit of corn, in all honesty. Fresh corn, obviously. Go figure!

Clean, sweet and attractive on the palate, without any burn despite the high ABV. Sure, the arrival is sturdy and peppery, but does not need water.

Very long finish that remains spicy, warm and sweet throughout.

This will probably become legendary… but I must confess that I preferred the new make from the wood fired still. A big thanks to Bart H. for getting me this sample.


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