Karuizawa Artifice 009 33 Year Old Cask 136 bottled 2014 Ex-Sherry cask 1981


Nose: 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.
Palate: Bold! Spicy, sweet bordering sour fruity notes, menthol, camphor, oak, earl grey tea (bergamont), kumquats. Massive yet balanced.
Finish: Lingering spiciness and herbal notes, oak, menthol, tea and spices, bitter kumquats balanced by sweet berries.
Thoughts: A fantastic Karuizawa. The cask brings us here a twist on the regular sherry profile with massive herbal and spicy side and it works brilliantly here.


Karuizawa is one of the legendary whisky distilleries in Japan. It was founded in 1955 and situated on a beautiful vineyard in Asama of Karuizawa where is also a famous summer palace to Japanese.

Karuizawa is the smallest distillery in Japanese but its ambition is big. Karuizawa adopted the top standard in making of whisky. It used the famous barley Golden Promise, distilled in small batch and aged their spirit in finest Spanish sherry casks that made Karuizawa malt perfection in quality.

Although all these uncompromising principles made Karuizawa malt the masterpiece, it was irony that its persistence was unsustainable commercially at that time as the market was not ready to accept such a premium Japanese malt. Karuizawa distillery was stopped production in 2000 and completely closed in 2011.

Karuizawa’s old stocks are now the most precious and rarest Japanese malt ever existing in the market. It is foreseeable that Karuizawa malt, such a great, rare and classic but diminishing whisky will definitely becoming the treasures exclusively for the rich very soon .


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