Karuizawa 1981

Overall rating
Whiskybase ID
Single Malt
Distillery Bottling
Bottling serie
Artifices Serie
Ex-Sherry Cask
Number of bottles
55.3 % Vol.
700 ml
Bottled for
La Maison du Whisky
France France
Added on
04 oct 2014 10:34 am by cavalier66
UncoloredNon-chillfilteredCask StrengthSingle Cask Whisky

Average value

€ 15632.50

24 × in wishlist

109 × member ratings

147 × in collection

Whisky reviews for Karuizawa 1981

12 users have left 13 reviews for this whisky. Average rating is 91.89 points.

  1. sagara-kun scored this whisky 91 points Connoisseur

    Less complex than the 80 tasted in parallel. No defects to report, just a little less dream.
    • Nose
      92 92
      Woody, camphor, fruity.
      Currant, strawberry, raspberry, eucalyptus, noble wood, cinnamon.
      Ginger, pepper.
    • Taste
      92 92
      On the palate it's round and oily.
      Red and yellow fruits.
      Apricot, peach, currant, strawberry.
      Camphor always present. Light but noble woody.
    • Finish
      92 92
      Long finish, on pepper, fruit and wood.

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  3. dram-drinker scored this whisky 91 points Photo Moderator

    Starts very good on the nose, can't quite catch up later
    • Nose
      93 93
      Intense, cooked fruits, cooked oranges, also some dried fruits, plum, prune, hints of cherry, good sherry wood, also some wine casks, spices, cloves, little nutty, fragrant, rose water - excellent!
    • Taste
      90 90
      Oily, punchy, nutty, spicy, oak wood, hints of leather, little sweetness, more cooked fruits
    • Finish
      89 89
      Long, warm, spicy, more punchy

  4. Kumachan scored this whisky 90 points Expert Senior

    Superb balance.

    ● Mahogany dress, large, slow, scattered tears.

    ● A nose that is surprisingly reminiscent of old cognac, a sweet wood and notes of black fruit macerate, sherry in the form of dried fruits and rancio is present but without heaviness.
    Notes of musk, leather and cinnamon, finally, brown tiger balm.

    ● On the palate it's firm and full-bodied, nice tender approach on black and ripe fruits, ripe.
    Very quickly shelled fruits, leather and camphor come to dominate.
    The wood is soft, without bitters.
    A beautiful presence of spicy reminiscent of black pepper and a light peat of the most beautiful effect gives it complexity and length.

    ● The finish is long on this leather and the camphor with a return of ginger, little smoke perfumes the palate.

    Nice, elegant and balanced, simpme but so well built.

    If it had to be given a subjective note, it would be a 90.

  5. wisekyofcourse scored this whisky 92 points Connoisseur

    2nd: wood, sherry, mildew, cooked and maderized fruits.

  6. detachedblue scored this whisky 92 points Connoisseur

    A great peated Karuizawa
    • Nose
      Old leather, sweat (in good way), peat, nutty, meaty, earthy, dried fish, walnut water, very high quality sherry flavors
    • Taste
      Peaty, walnut-ty, meaty, BBQ, rich red wines, bacon, a little woody
    • Finish
      Nutty again, short to medium, leather 

  7. wisekyofcourse scored this whisky 92 points Connoisseur

    On the nose, the bottom of the wood nostrils, a little old dusty varnish, dried fruits, maderized ,, then dry chocolate, black, and candied oranges occur!
    Grilled and toasted kernels plus some wet licorice appear.
    • Nose
      used and sodden wood, infused, glue on the encaustic, spices that appear, sherry with its lot of factors (mold, mushroom, maderized fruits), varnish, mint too, dark chocolate.
    • Taste
      glue that has decanted the wood, sherry fruit, tannic heaviness, spices on the cocoa powder, slight grassy return.so macerated fruit on the corner of the fire.

  8. el Gato scored this whisky 91 points Connoisseur

    Love this one!
    • Nose
      Great nose. Dried fruits like raisins, prunes and dades. Red berries. Rum raisin with time. Barrel influence. Almost like a wine barrel. Both elegant and edgy! 
    • Taste
      The dried fruits continue. Bonfire smoke. Sweet citrus, Clementine. Liquerice. 
    • Finish
      Long, dry and bitter finish. Now Martini/Campari. Some smoke again.

  9. RL_whisky scored this whisky 88 points Connoisseur

    Be patient! This one my seem closed and limited at first, but give it time and a truly fantastic dram will be waiting for you.

    Obvious sherry influences which combines excellently with the hint of smoke on the nose, which makes it's presence well known on the taste.
    • Nose
      90 90
    • Taste
      90 90
    • Finish
      88 88

  10. ASWhisky did not rate this whisky Connoisseur

    www.whisky-monitor.com91,90, 89 points

    http://www.whisky-monitor.com/bottle.jsp?bid=17537&bottling=Karuizawa+33yo+1981/2014Robert Karlsson:

    Lots of thick luscious bourbon wood influence here. A so tangible (but not at all unpleasantly so) vanilla, nice lively fresh spices and a quite perfect malty sweetness. Add a dryish somewhat sooty smokiness to that. Makes up a pretty good nose. Wow. Taste has all that, and an almost perfect smokiness than integrates greatly with all the fruit and other goodness. This one is really so enjoyable.

  11. Jeep51 scored this whisky 93 points Expert Senior

    Perhaps not the most complex Karui, but a huge density counterbalanced by a lot of freshness for a perfect balance.
    • Nose
      Hardly poured, you can smell the scent coming out of the glass. Woody very present but ultra delicate. The fact that all this wood (noble wood, encaustic resin) is not embarrassing is probably due to the immense freshness that emerges from the glass: eucalyptus, menthol, licorice, zan. An impression of walking in a pine grove. The sherry aromas are not really present, but it is not embarrassing as it is well done.
    • Taste
      Very powerful and once again very woody. Hot embers and light camphor. Then it evolves towards fruits and especially citrus fruits. Like the nose, what strikes me here is the freshness in spite of all this old wood that can sometimes be disgusting: there are in particular menthol, star anise and ginger
    • Finish
      Immense. We finally see the sherry via some dried fruit: currant in the head but also prunes. Slightly saline.

  12. laurensl did not rate this whisky Expert Junior

    Karuizawa 33 yo 1981/2014 (55.3%, OB, La Maison du Whisky, sherry, cask #136)  La Maison seem to be leading the pack these days as far as numbers of new Karuizawas are concerned. They already had a wee bunch earlier this year, and here’s a brand new sherried 1981, possibly similar to their excellent cask #152 that came out around April. Colour: rich amber. Nose: isn’t Karuizawa the only malt that’s capable of standing heavy oak in such… err, relaxed manner? Because this is very oaky (some old bourbons come to mind), and yet it’s very superb, perfectly mentholated, infused with liquorice wood, wormwood, old-style herbal liqueurs (Bénédictine) and plenty of other roots and herbs, such as ginseng. The sherry’s not very exuberant here, but that may come once water’s been added. So, with water: love this. Much menthol, anise, camphor, fresh pinewood, almond oil, hessian, old wardrobe… Hey, I even find (half a) mothball. Mouth (neat): it’s amazing that all old Karuizawas are so different from each other. Once again, the oak’s playing first fiddle here, but some dried fruits are singing in the background (S., musical metaphors are very last year, you know.) Plenty of kumquats and bergamots, for example. Or some kind of lemony raisins. Mandarine Impériale, quinine, more ginseng… All this is very huge, concentrated, and yet it’s neither heavy nor too ‘massive’. With water: the most wonderful wood extraction. Herbs and roots ad libitum. Finish: long, herbal, earthy… Comments: ginseng whisky? That should be good for our health! More please… SGP:471 - 93 points.

    from whiskyfun

  13. magic_slim scored this whisky 92 points Connoisseur

    Superb Karuizawa - recommended.
    • Nose
      Lecker! This is high quality Karuizawa as we love it - fat and  bold, sweet and sherried , leather and shoe polish, plum in Madeira chocolate, liquorice and arolla pine liqueur ...
    • Taste
      Wow! Thick fat bold oily sweet liquorice extract with arolla pine and Mandarine Napoléon liqueur. 
    • Finish
      Very long, dominated by aromas of  cognac, liquorice and herbs with a spicy aftertaste.

  14. djork scored this whisky 91 points Member Senior

    • Nose
      92 92
    • Taste
      92 92
    • Finish
      93 93


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