The 2nd Karuizawa from the newest batch of The Whisky Exchange releases. This one is a more traditional sherry cask, which is the style that put Karuizawa on the map. It sold out in hours so it’s long gone by now. I don’t think anyone who got a sample of this got their blog post out in time!
The popularity of this distillery keeps growing and that means the initials prices of a bottle keep rising. I think The Whisky Exchange is very reasonable with the starting price at £ 200. Still a lot of money, but compared to the more recent Diageo Special Releases, or Highland Park’s Orcadian Vintage…
Sambal sauce, the fried kind (I believe it’s called Sambal Badjak) with wood pulp, cork trees and sour cherries. Japanese plum wine, dark chocolate, light Christmas cake and stewed strawberries. With added water it gets more accessible, but the scent profile stays rather similar.
Loads of fruit, dry and spicy as well, with quite some alcohol and it’s very hot. Red fruits, quite some sharp wood flavours. Sharp spices as well as allspice. Kahlua, pepper, a bit smoother and typically Japanese and sherried Karuizawa with some H2O.
The finish is long and shows alcohol, chocolate liqueur, forest fruits. It feels a bit thick and syrupy with Christmas cake, allspice and with water it shows some Jalapeño peppers…
While this is a stunning and more traditional Karuizawa in all senses of the word, my preference of the two released by The Whisky Exchange lies with the bourbon cask. Lately my preference in general is there and it’s the odd one out which shows that Karuizawa could be anything else then sherry bombs. And be ridiculously good at that too!
This one is a stunning whisky nonetheless and well worth the 200 quid it went for. I’m kind of scared it’s going to pop up on auction sites soon and skyrocket in value. There is something to say for it since it’s a very complex and intriguing dram!
Karuizawa 1984, First Fill Sherry Cask #4201, released by The Whisky Exchange and sadly no longer available at the price of £ 200