Overall rating
Single Malt
Distillery Bottling
Stated Age
31 years old
Sherry Cask
Number of bottles
59.1 % Vol.
700 ml
Nepal Earthquake Appeal
Bottled for
The Whisky Exchange - Whisky Show 2015 Masterclass
Added on
06 Oct 2015 5:25 pm by dipako
UncoloredNon-chillfilteredCask StrengthSingle Cask Whisky

Average value

€ 14892.22

22 × in wishlist

32 × member ratings

21 × in collection

Whisky Reviews for Karuizawa 1983

8 users have left a review for this whisky and scored it an average of 92.03 points

  1. hansverkerk scored this whisky 92 points Expert Senior

    over priced, great tasty

  2. ASWhisky scored this whisky 93 points Connoisseur

    yes, I'm in Heaven 
    Ranking 1. Nase und Abgang, 2.Mund
    • Nose
      direkt nach dem Einschenken ist er bereits

      fleischige süße hellbraune Rosinen
      Erde, Zimt
      fruchtig tiefe Notenrauchige Chilischärfe passt perfekt
      zu seinem dunkelfruchtigen vollen Körper

      der schwere Duft von Lilien mit Gewürzen
      Zimt & Muskatnuss

      pralle Rosinen & PflaumenDu möchtest reinbeißen
    • Taste
      sofort hast Du dunkle intensive Noten und die fleischigen Rosinen
      sie sind weich an Deinem Gaumen

      rauchige Chilischärfe verbreitet den vollen dunkelfruchtigen Körper in Deinem Mund

      das Fass kommt mit einem leicht gammeligem feuchten Holzgeschmack
      Du spürst die Eiche in Deinen Wangen
      dunkle trockene Schokolade
    • Finish
      die sehr dunkle Schokolade wird immer aparter
      wird cremig fast wie eine Praline
      wird jetzt fruchtig erdig
      ein Streifen süßen Akazienhonigs durchzieht die Masse

      getrocknete Rosinen in cremig fruchtiger Schokolade
      Eiche mischt sich unter, Vanille, Bratapfelsaft, und jetzt das Fass ... mmh was für ein Abgang

      lang, apart, spannend, wechselhaft
      und doch sehr harmonisch
      zum Ende wird er feucht und er ist immer noch in meinem Mund
      Leder & Süße
      sehr aparte Mischung

  3. WhiskyLovingPianist scored this whisky 93 points Connoisseur


    N: First time I tried this rare malt I picked up lots of bacon Frazzles [blog]. Today I find it a touch smokey [in a Laphroaig=Caol Ila kind of way], with a malty-freshness, fusty malted barley,… aah, here comes the bacon - that didn’t take too long. I also get the loft insulation note I picked out before. Having spent some time in my loft in the last few days, there is something loft-y about it as well as something of a chimney - smokey bacon by the fireside then. Also some bergamot, dates, dried lemons, sweet grapefruit pith,…. At the core it displays deep smokey ash layers with foosty barley and fusty oak. Much like the Yamazaki, there’s a cohesion to the whole presentation with an experience that slips past descriptors & ingredients and to a realm more abstract & emotional - and I’m anything but open to emotion today. Herbal oaky sugars begin to develop more fully after around 30 minutes. Outshines the very decent Yamazaki by some margin.
    T: Starts with a huge & wide abv hit. Not much for the angels during those 31 years. Along with the concentrated sugars - all manner of fruits, teas & jams, the Islay-esque smokiness is never lost. I wonder if anyone would dare finish a Karuizawa in an Islay cask? Bit too late now anyway. Things are pretty much as ideal as you’d want from such a bold style of whisky. You can make it as complicated as you want or simply add water, sip and let it sit on the palate whilst enjoying the sightseeing. Deep permeated teak & oak furniture oils shine through on the turn, followed by a bitter fruity dark chocolate liqueur to die for.
    F: Appears to grow larger and larger as it goes on. Still with that smokey bacon note, we’ve malty/putty, waxy ashy sugars and something you may find in the occasional exceptional rum. The smokey oakiness pervades deep, the malted peated barley never too far away. Bitter-sweet smokey embers conclude.
    C: I reckon a bottle would last a while, given how full-on it is - even more so than the Yamazaki. I wonder how many of the 50 bottles will be opened and savoured? At time of writing, 14 of those 50 bottles are claimed by 8 Whiskybase members and some have appeared at festivals - giving people like myself the pleasure. Happily sticking with my previous super high score.Scores an A[+]

  4. hansverkerk scored this whisky 92 points Expert Senior

    • Nose
      90 90
    • Taste
      92 92
    • Finish
      93 93

  5. WhiskyLovingPianist scored this whisky 93 points Connoisseur

    N: An incredible blended complexity with bacon Frazzles, more bacon - and loft insulation, such is the dryness.
    T: Same as the nose, fabulous everythin [even the insulation]. I wouldn’t dare add water to such a small sample.
    F: Simply amazing. Such a youthfulness with all that provenance and time past. Exquisite ash at the death.
    C: I don’t find Karuizawa automatically amazing by default [regardless of it’s price and rarity], but this i do find amazing.

    Scores an A[+]

  6. dipako scored this whisky 94 points Expert Junior

    whiskynotes.be:Karuizawa 1983 ‘Nepal Appeal’ (59%, OB for The Whisky Exchange 2014, sherry cask #3557, 50 btl.)

    Nose: delicious. It has this combination of juicy cherries, tobacco leaves and a lightly ethereal touch of exotic wood – three things that pretty much define a great Karuizawa in my opinion. Moelleux au chocolat. Prunes, mocha and hazelnuts, a little incense. Eucalyptus and After Eight. Some meaty and flinty notes, dry cinnamon and a little balsamic after a while. Quite excellent. Mouth: thick, leathery and very spicy without water. Lots of cinnamon, cumin and pepper. Coffee powder and huge tobacco notes. Strong fruit tea and lightly medicinal hints of liquorice and mint. Still some prunes, figs, black cherries and fudge in the background. It takes quite a bit of water, which releases more fruits (even some pink grapefruit and bergamot) and highlights the aromatic cedar / sandalwood. Finish: very long, rather dry, on cocoa powder, pepper and blackberries.

    There aren’t many 1983 expressions available, but most of them have been great. I can only confirm this is an excellent, very heavy Karuizawa. If you have the money to spare, this would be a unique way to support Nepal and get a rare Karuizawa in return. 

    Score: 93/100

  7. dipako scored this whisky 94 points Expert Junior

    Nonjatta:Karuizawa 1983/2015, #3557, 59%abv, 50 bottles

    On the nose, the initial impressions are venison with balsamic prune sauce, honey-bourbon glazed barbecued ribs, mango chutney, old leather, old cigar boxes (the boxes themselves, not so much the cigars!) but it’s also got a bit of a Sicilian side to it, with cartocci siciliani, buccellati and mpanatigghi on the table. There’s also a bit of rosemary, thyme and some caraway lying about. When you spend more time with it, you may pick up hints of shiso leaf and strawberry-and-fennel compote. After a good 15 minutes, there are distinct notes of mimolette, porcini risotto and a teeny tiny (but oh so, delightful) trace of ruby grapefruit. Tasting notes are always partial – not only in the sense of revealing but a fraction of ‘what’s there’ (assuming there is such a thing), but also in the sense of revealing what the taster is partial to – but with these sort of Golden Age (i.e. early 80s) Karuizawas, you really could go on forever… The thing is: there’s a thousand things going on but there is no excess whatsoever in this case – which you can’t always say about 30+yo Karuizawas.

    In the mouth, it’s the liquid equivalent of “The Odyssey” – what a journey! It starts with an intense citrus attack – not quite the sudachi that’s a signature note of old (and I mean pre-80s) Karuizawas, but something between lime and sudachi. Then, you get grapefruit peel, beef jerky, blueberry barbecue pulled pork, smokedkinmedai and burdock, ume plum jam, mole sauce, but there’s more… smoked chocolate chips, a fig log, espresso liqueur… the list goes on and on. This is like a whole week of fine dining rolled into a single dram. In that sense, Karuizawa is not all that expensive, come to think of it. You can just slowly work your way through a bottle of this, and feel like you’ve been eating in the world’s most fabulous restaurants for months on end.

    The finish is long and fairly drying but pleasantly so… with the strawberry-and-fennel coming back, some bramble cinnamon crumble and a bit of shichimi.

    Water tames the nose somewhat and makes it more approachable… but it fades out some of the aromatic ‘partials’ (to use an analogy from sonology) that give the nose that gritty wildness that’s so beguiling … well, personally speaking. On the palate, water dials up the citrus (Seville oranges, which you often get in early 80s Karuizawas at some point during the journey from glass to memory) and stewed fruits. It also brings out more of the wood. On the finish, with water, you get somehojicha, golden raisins, white pepper and a sliver of fresh mint.

    What can we say? It’s up there with the best early-80s Karuizawas… but there’s only 50 bottles. Life can be a cruel…

  8. dipako scored this whisky 94 points Expert Junior

    Karuizawa 1983/2015 'Nepal Appeal' (The Whisky Show, cask #3557, 50 bottles) Some Karuizawa! Bottled in support of Nepal and exclusive to one very high-end masterclass at The Whisky Show in London on October 6. Colour: mahogany. Nose: chocolate and lit cigars. So smoking some kind of dark maduro Cohiba while opening the very best Spanish (okay, dear Italian friends, Italian) dark chocolate, while having a glass of old Port Mourant rum on the side.

    So it’s a whole experience, not just whisky. And not only that, there’s also a smoky cup of old pu-erh tea, a good five old books (Hemingway…. But of course) and… hold on, concrete? Stones and flints? Coal crumbles? Old crème de menthe? Mushrooms? Black trumpets, to be more precise? With water: old books, old leather, old wine cellar, old creams, old embrocations, old dry wines, fresh mint cream. Chocolate mint. Mouth (neat): warning tooh-tooh-tooh, warning! This is strong, violent, brutal, and probably not totally civilised. Starts with soups and bouillons, so very Karuizawa, and pretty ‘uma-mi-esque’. I’m sure Uma Thurman used to drink this while they were shooting Kill Bill – and I agree, it showed. Then chocolate, dried figs, all raisins (Corinth, Smyrna, Sultanas, all that), then this Armagnacky side that’s also often to be found in Karuizawa, so prunes, then cigars and plenty of black earth. Licking the ground in an old forgotten factory. With water: I didn’t now they were still having some of these casks. Not sure this would still be legal. Plums and dried dates, old PX, bitter oranges, gasoline, engine oil, Russian black tea, rust, silverware, sucking old pennies, black truffles… Quite unmanageable, all this. Finish: too long, too huge, too dominant, too concentrated. To be honest, it’s a bit tiring! Comments: it fights with you, and it’s not impossible that untrained whisky enthusiasts would give up after just two minutes. You might want to do a bit of training before tackling this monster of a whisky. SGP:474 - 93 points.


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