Update 16.5.2010. Review by Nonjatta contributor - Dramtastic:
Karuizawa single malt. 17-year-old. 40 per cent alcohol.
Nose: Struck match, sulphury notes. In this case, this is not a bad thing. Sherry, marmalade on toast. A hint of glue.
Palate: Sherry, oak, a little nutty, smoke.
Finish: Sherry, smokey, peppery, dry.
General comment: This is an odd malt that's lacks complexity and cohesion. It's not bad. In some ways, it's interesting. It's just not special.
This is the older of the two standard range Karuizawas. There seem to have been expressions of this that are very different in character. Some reviews have talked of a fruity, warming tipple. I found nothing like that here although the nose (honey and lemon) seemed to be gesturing in that direction. The taste was dominated by dry, tight saltiness. There were very restrained and distant notes of tobacco, smoke and liquorice near the finish, but it was very much a one chord whisky. I didn't dislike it. In a certain context, it might work very well. With a cigar, perhaps?
Reviews by others
There are at least three different Whisky Magazine reviews of a Karuizawa 17: Issue 26, Issue 56 and Issue 64. Only that last one seems to bear any resemblance to my impressions.
Abv 40 per cent
Price (July 2008)
700 ml - 8,790 to 10,494 yen
Thursday, July 24, 2008
Tuesday, July 22, 2008
Back in January, Nonjatta broke the news that Ulf Buxrud, author of "Rare Malts" was on the brink of publishing the first book in English dedicated to Japanese whisky. The late spring release date we spoke about then has slipped a bit (getting a book out, as I am now learning from personal experience, is harder than you might think). Anyway, the new and firm release date is September 1.
"The book is on its way from my Italian printer. It will land in my hometown Malmo in the last week of August, " Ulf says. The first book signing will be in September at Whisky Live in Paris and Ulf hopes to be at Whisky Live in Tokyo in 2009.
Monday, July 14, 2008
I just came across a striking 360 degree photograph by Yoshito Takagi of Nikka`s Yoichi Distillery in the snow. The large version may take some time to load so you might want to try the smaller format. They both display the same image work the same way: use the arrow keys or left click your cursor on the photo to move the view (in any direction!) and use the shift and and ctrl buttons to zoom in and out. For those of us who can't save up the pennies to visit Yoichi, I suppose it is the next best thing.