Monday, 31 December 2018

Tasted #421: Karuizawa 1984 Single Cask #3692 28yo

As a final post for 2018, I thought it fitting to not only post my thoughts on a fantastic whisky, but one that's symbolic of the camaraderie and friendships that whisky can bring about.

See, in addition to this blog I spend a fair bit of time on both Instagram and Facebook, often talking about whisky. Through both platforms (and Twitter) I've made some amazing friendships with whisky lovers all over the world, with whom we regularly discuss and share samples of whiskies (when we can't meet in person for a few drams).

That's how I came to get a hold of a sample of this stunning 1984 Karuizawa single cask. @maltandbean (who writes TheHalfDram.com), someone I'd come to know through a mutual interest in whisky, was in Hong Kong and we caught up at Club Qing (of course) for a few drams. I'd brought a sample to share, as had he....and it was this Karuizawa. @maltandbean, it turns out, is one of those rare people who not only buys some incredible whiskies, but actually opens them too. Applause all round. πŸ‘πŸΌ

Photo taken from The Whisky Exchange

Bottled at a not-insignificant 61.6% ABV in 2012 at 28 years old, there were 359 bottles produced from a single sherry butt.

Karuizawa 1984 single cask #3692 (61.6% ABV, 28yo, Japan, One of 359 bottles, no longer readily available...at least not at a reasonable price sadly!)
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Colour: Dark copper brown, with an orange tinge.

Nose: There's noticeable sulphur at first (it dissipates slightly over time), but there's also sweet BBQ'd pineapple rings, strawberries and cream, floral pot-pourri and more - leather, some oak, molasses, and some earthy notes. Incredibly complex, and extremely inviting. A few drops of water just amps everything up a notch. Simply an amazing nose.

Palate: Similar to the nose. Initially some burnt match heads, but then comes the sweetness - cookies and cream ice cream, strawberry shortbread and more pineapple (cooked). It doesn't feel 60%+ ABV, though a few drops of water does open things up even more. Absolutely delicious - the sort of whisky you just want to keep taking sips of. Truly one of the tastiest drams I've had this year.

Finish: Long, creamy, floral, and lingering. There's some vanilla cream spice that lasts for the longest time, and you wish it lasted even longer.

Rating (on my very non-scientific scale):  93/100@maltandbean opened this to celebrate the birth of his daughter, and all I can say is it's an incredibly fitting whisky for such a momentous occasion. Not every Karuizawa is a good Karuizawa, but when they're good, wow, they're great. This one falls clearly into the latter camp.


A huge thanks to @maltandbean for this, and to all my whisky mates around the world for the drams, laughs, knowledge, samples and above all, friendship.

Hope you all have a fantastic 2019, and thanks for continuing to read our blog. We look forward to bringing you plenty more interesting stories in the new year - our 6th year!

Cheers,
Martin.

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