...and to be honest: This is a fine old-school sherried malt that is both interesting to explore and enjoyable to sip - but it is hopelessly over-hyped and over-priced! For one bottle of this Karuizawa you can buy ten bottles of the Glenfarclas Family Cask 1986/2018 (WB id 117025) that offers almost exactly the same profile and drinking experience (and I liked it even a little better). Leave this expensive stuff for collectors and investors...
The colour is tawny and the nose offers a delicate and bold old-school sherry profile that reminds me a lot of the finest Glenfarclas Family Casks I tried over the last months. Perfect old style sherry with all the beautiful aromas that only a cask coopered in the seventies (or earlier) could deliver. Not sure if there are any notes of the Karuizawa malt survived under all the sherry flavours - but who cares if the sherry is that beautiful?
The taste is truly multi-layered like almost all old-school sherried drams with mainly sherry-induced flavours and spicy wooden notes. In a later wave a delicious fruitiness pops up before the nuts join in to create a wonderful nutty chocolatey flavour. Some water releases more aromas in the nose and turns both taste and finish smoother and more fruity. But to be honest: I like the neat dram better because it offers the old-school sherry profile on full throttle...
The dram arrives warming and instantly coating on the palate with no distracting moments. The finish is very long and adds more spices (green peppers) before it gets even more chocolatey towards the end. No distracting bitter or drying moments, this cask was bottled at the right time.