Karuizawa 1981

Overall rating
Whiskybase ID
Single Malt
Distillery Bottling
Bottling serie
Noh Whisky
Stated Age
31 years old
Sherry Butt
Number of bottles
56.0 % Vol.
700 ml
Bottled for
La Maison du Whisky
Added on
07 May 2013 1:32 am
UncoloredNon-chillfilteredCask StrengthSingle Cask Whisky

Average value

€ 13053.33

32 × in wishlist

131 × member ratings

191 × in collection

Whisky Reviews for Karuizawa 1981

9 users have left a review for this whisky and scored it an average of 91.95 points

  1. whioli scored this whisky 95 points Connoisseur

    • Nose
      95 95
    • Taste
      95 95
    • Finish
      95 95

  2. hnorjordet scored this whisky 91 points Expert Senior

    On my nose I received dark syrup, red apples, oak tree, figs, caramel knuckle, some ginger, orange marmalade, coffee, leather; hint of passion fruit and pepper. The taste was sweet, with toffee, dark syrup, anise, some pepper and hints of smoke, key and a little mineral note. The ending was half-dry and long, with toffee, some smoke, red apples and cocoa. With some water there was some cardamom on the nose, along with menthol, vanilla, coca cola (ginger, toffee) and red apples. The flavor got more cocoa and sherry, with some clearer mineral notes. The finish got more oak tree, with some licorice and more malt. Here, I think the nose was better than taste and ending, which might be a little dry and mineral, if absolutely critical. Better losses are found, but this is equally a superb Karuizawa. Grade: 91/100

  3. tomy63 scored this whisky 91 points Expert Senior

    A fairly typical Karuizawa, perhaps a little too varnished compared to the best.
    • Nose
      very varnished, tobacco wax, slightly woody, dates, figs. Pretty classic but very beautiful. Small tip suffused in the background, it is hoped that it does not take over with time.
    • Taste
      powerful, big scale, alcohol very well integrated, beaucop of varnish again, chocolate, mocha, tobacco, leather, dried fruits.
    • Finish
      very long.

  4. dram-drinker scored this whisky 94 points Moderator

    Very complex, powerful, no off-notes - fantastic!
    • Nose
      94 94
      Intense, fresh oranges, new furnitures, wet pipe tobacco, spices, cinnamon, cloves, pepper, hints of dried fruits, prunes, finest sherry wood - excellent!
    • Taste
      95 95
      Punchy, oily, liquorice, good sweetness, more dried and cooked fruits, cooked oranges, jam, more spices, xmas spice, nutmeg, zesty, shoe polish, chocolate, little nutty - superb!
    • Finish
      93 93
      Long, warm, more punchy, spicy, little woody, dark chocolate, little tannins, not really drying - great!

  5. ovanpuyvelde did not rate this whisky Expert Senior

    3 bottles of this Whisky were sold for 2210€, 2215€ and 2255€ at Whisky Auction (September 2017).

  6. Rom did not rate this whisky Expert Junior

    Nose melted with perfectly integrated alcohol, tobacco, plum, sesame, marzipan and caramel, dilution brings coffee. Attack very sweet, covering texture, the mouth is very melted too, fig, plum, coffee. Long and warm final on the coffee liqueur. A very big whisky.

  7. Jeep51 scored this whisky 91 points Expert Senior

    Well, complex and rich mouth. Another good Karui
    • Nose
      Sherry on a meaty profile (dried meat and smoke), figs and prunes. Armagnac side too, leather, coffee and tobacco. Alcohol is too much for me but aeration is very good, and the whole thing becomes much more precise.
    • Taste
      Powerful, and better balanced than the nose. Many leather, varnish, and precious woods. There are mostly white pepper notes that seem so ubiquitous that the mouth might seem a little monolithic. Nevertheless, there is also leather, other spices, and dried fruits with an old old school sherry side.
    • Finish
      Long, more marked by praline and pepper.

  8. scotch80 scored this whisky 93 points Member Senior

    • Nose
      93 93
    • Taste
      91 91
    • Finish
      93 93

  9. numen scored this whisky 92 points Expert Senior

    sample from a friend
    • Nose
      Ah yes, this is the stuff. Rich, typical Karuizawa. Plums, dates, dense millionare bread, cherries (bitter and sour), and varnished leather belt. Molasses and pressed orange zest, figs marinading in aged cognac. Some ginger. The sherry here is just a light touch of smoke and cocoa. Turkish coffee grounds leftover. Fabulously decadent, deep, and still precise. Spanish brandy essence and darjeeling tea leaves. (with water) Water heightens the relief, drawing the leather, coffee, and cocoa out further. The fruit gives way to more spice and vanilla creme. Still full of dates, dry fig skins, and stale (nice) dry apple skins.
    • Taste
      Lighter and silkier on the palate than I'd have anticipated. More old and bitter red and purple fruit jam and dates, quickly turning to leather coated with coffee and baking cocoa flecks. Lightly bitter and oak caramel. Cherry, skin of ginger root. Vanilla and cola, too. (with water) Nice and rather bitter coffee with some sweetened dark chocolate. Water dissipates it, with a drop of sea-sugar to the front. Spicy ginger, thin molasses with water honey.
    • Finish
      Especially with water, this really lasts on leather, coffee, old furniture, and varnished leather, a hint of salt, and thin caramel molasses. Just a dollop of fruit. Really a great Karuizawa, fairly typical of the age and vintage. The nose, especially neat, is the best. Maybe could use a bit more oomph on the palate.


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