Tag Archives: Karuizawa

Whisky Review – Karuizawa 1981 33 Year Old (La Maison du Whisky Artifices Serie)

It’s Sunday, the first official workday of 2016 here and the last vacation day for most of you so something strong and bold is needed here, but not something mundane, it should be something special, like a bold Karuizawa.

Well, all Karuizawas I tasted were bold and this one ain’t no exception. It was bottled in 2014 for LMDW from a single cask that yielded 595 bottles at 55.3%.

Karuizawa 1981 33 Year Old (55.3%, LMDW, cask #136)

karuizawa 1981 33yo cask 136 lmdwNose: That’s a nose that isn’t taking prisoners – oriental spices, tea spices, menthol, sweet, some cigar leaves and tobacco, old books and leather but at the same time fresh sweet red fruit, brown caramel, Cream Brulee, Herbal, oranges and citrus fragranced. Continue reading


Duo of “youngish” SMWS Karuizawa Review – SMWS 132.4 Rich, brooding and suggestive & SMWS 132.6 Nite Nurse nipped by piranhas

In the last few years Japanese whisky gained recognition in the western hemisphere and demand is steadily rising.  Another trend is the rising prices of whiskies from closed distilleries, fueled by collectors and investors. Now combine both trends and you get the “Karuizawa craze”.

Have you followed what’s happening with new (and old) Karuizawa bottlings? The barrels stock is rapidly dwindling and each new bottling is sought after by thousands of people. According to TWE, there were 6000 registrations to their recent lottery on the new Karuizawa/Hanyu bottles.

Karuizawa prices are on a steep rise. new bottlings are priced at 450 quid and higher and auction prices are in the stratosphere level.  Only a year ago, although it does feels like forever in current market condition, there were six new Karuizawa bottlings from the Scotch Malt Whisky Society. They seemed to be expensive and overpriced but in hindsight, it was el-cheapo comparing to what’s going on today.

I’ve already reviewed 132.2 here, so lets review the rest of the even numbers in that series – 132.4 and 132.6.

SMWS 132.4 Rich, brooding and suggestive 17 year old (61.7%, 346 bottles)

SMWS-132.4-Rich, brooding and suggestive

Photo credit: whiskybase.com

Nose: Intense (high ABV or not?), sweet and rich nose. Sherried with lots of forest berries glazed in dark sweet caramel.  Nutmeg and cinnamon, wood polish, sulphur. Continue reading

Whisky Review – SMWS 132.2 Stunning panorama of exotic fruits (Karuizawa)

It’s good to have friends who shares with you the same whisky passion as you do. A while ago, November 2013, the SMWS released a duo of rare Japanese whiskies from closed distilleries just in time for Christmas shopping rush:

132.2 (Karuizawa) – Stunning Panorama of Exotic Fruits.  22yo refill sherry, 335 bottles, 62.4% (!)

131.2 (Hanyu) – Magic Carpet in a Sweetie Shop.  13yo first fill sherry, 646 bottles, 55.1%

Continue reading