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Karuizawa's whiskies are legendary. Not only are they of sublime quality, but the distillery's closure almost 20 years ago means that they are rarer than emeralds. This exclusive single-cask bottling of 35-year-old single malt, created by Elixir Distillers, layers vanilla and spiced butter around the Karuizawa core.
The distinctive emerald labels combine beautiful Japanese art forms with complex hot foil and intricate embossing embellishments, giving the bottles a sculptured finish. They were designed by The Whisky Exchange’s creative director Raj Chavda, who is also a fellow of the Royal Society of Art.Tasting Notes (1)
The Karuizawa Geisha series was created to not only honour Karuizawa Distillery, which closed in 2001 and was later demolished in 2016, but also offer insight into the mysterious world of the geisha. Often thought of as the remnants of a bygone era, the skill, tradition and artistry of geishas is overlooked or ignored, and the iconic labels of the Karuizawa Geishas, created by The Whisky Exchange’s creative director Raj Chavda, showcase different stages of the journey to become a geisha.
No of Bottles
Tasting notes by Billy Abbott (The Whisky Exchange)
Nose: Caramel wafers in a cloud of incense – savoury, perfumed and sweet perfectly balanced. Sultanas follow, with oaky spice: nutmeg, cinnamon sticks and freshly sawn damp oak. Autumnal flavours of leaves and fragrant forests build, with a side order of sweet and spicy vanilla, and sweet butter. A drop of water dampens the incense and brings out subtle tropical fruit: pineapple and mango. Palate: Spiced butter leads, with cinnamon and anise heat rolling in behind alongside sticky vanilla and caramel. Sharp apple bursts through but is tempered by bitter char and toffee sweetness. Savoury turmeric notes and incense build through the sweetness. Water tones down the buttery hit at the front of the palate, and reveals layers of spice and fruit: banana, menthol and ripe apples. Finish: Soft apple fades to char and sweet woody spice. Earthy rancio lingers long at the back of the palate, slowly sweetening.
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Brilliant! I wish I had a sample of the 33yo Emerald Geisha for comparison...
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