A beautifully rounded start with early notes of toffee, apricot cream and mint alongside a mix of pencil shavings and cut cedar that add a certain bourbon-like quality to the profile. A little warm plum tart note develops and is contrasted perfectly by some fresh cut coriander. Time draws out suggestions of sandalwood and gentle notes of oak polish. Not hugely wide perhaps but complex and rich enough to entertain.
Bold, lactone-rich oak takes centre stage on delivery with creamy vanilla, white chocolate and a little of the cedar from the nose. Things soften quickly as honey and buttery toffee blend with a lovely and almost unexpected touch of red apple. A certain, well balanced sourness develops towards the finish; green tea, gooseberry jelly as the oak grows faintly dusty.
Silky and supple.
Rounded and rather long on gentle gingery spice, lightly mentholated oak and a mix of faintly tart fruit. Retains a lovely balanced throughout, even with this level of cask involvement.
Karuizawa rarely disappoints and this unusual example is no exception. It’s quite a departure from the more familiar, heavily sherried profile associated with the distillery but it’s certainly not lacking in cask influence. This is still full of character and while the wonderfully integrated, full bodied American oak plays a key role the spirit was clearly of great quality. 90 points.
Nose: PVA glue, hints of Copydex, wood stain and varnish, freshly chipped dark wood and damp forest floors. It needs a bit of time to develop, but picks up more vanilla, dark fruit and citrus notes as it sits, as well as spice, pastry and sugary sweetness.
Palate: Intense. Concentrated fruit - apples and sultanas compressed to a microdot; Maple syrup; freshly varnished wood; more chipped dark wood; and some rich treacley edges. Water amplifies with the wood, bringing out tingly spice and liquorice root, as well as more maple syrup sweetness. It can take a fair whack of water and even when quite dilute still has a nice punch of spice and toasted bread.
Finish: Sour wood and buttery sweetness.
Nose: Crystal-clear barley sugar and green apple flavours backed by a wonderfully rich, evocative, classic bourbon cask style featuring woodglue, fresh sawdust, light vanilla, resin, dried bark, furniture polish and a dusting of cocoa powder. Water releases very strong notes of aromatic cedar and sandalwood
Palate: Very big at full strength, with wood glue, then very rich cooking apple, varnished wood and playdoh. Develops on dried coconut and more varnish / furniture polish. Water mellows it and lifts fresh apple, cedar and sandalwood flavours.
Finish:Very long, quite warm and drying.