Karuizawa 1980

Overall rating
Whiskybase ID
Single Malt
Distillery Bottling
Bottling serie
The Golden Samurai
Sherry Cask
61.6 % Vol.
700 ml
Bottled for
The Whisky Exchange Whisky Show 2015
gb United Kingdom
Added on
11 Dec 2015 3:06 pm by Bartoszwhisky
UncoloredNon-chillfilteredCask StrengthSingle Cask Whisky

Average value

€ 9342.32

14 × in wishlist

31 × member ratings

54 × in collection

Whisky Reviews for Karuizawa 1980

6 users have left a review for this whisky and scored it an average of 91.69 points

  1. ASWhisky scored this whisky 91 points Connoisseur

    a Karuizawa that seems at first quite classic and yet so different

    yes, I was in heaven
    in the end it was Grandma's old cellar;)
    • Nose
      without movement
      the classic Karuizawa
      Dark, earth, old dried raisins
      dusty old wood, leather, cold smoke in the chimney

      he is so good right after pouring

      with movement, floral notes are added
      light citrus notes
      the sherry now clearer
      furniture polish
      dried fruits that are still slightly moist
      dusty old chocolate
      a splash of puke water

      in the background an exotic hint of etheric temple oils
      you should drink it now
    • Taste
      You have everything and immediately on your tongue
      Leather, small dark raisins, fruity old sherry, exotic spices
      they kindle a nice fire of emotions there
      dissolve in your sweet saliva
      caressing fruity smoky your mouth
      Your palate feels the old polished wood
      dusty chocolate that has become light over time
      he is calmer
      an aftertaste of temple smells
    • Finish

      You are sitting in an old Japanese temple complex
      the ground is tamped, the smell is dull and earthy
      the old wood creaks
      gong - then clap your hands - the gods must be awakened -
      You taste dry and a bit bitter the wood
      Money strums
      a strange aftertaste
      like the old dried peel of apples
      Bitterniss with dried fruits
      a woman with sacrificial bowls moves silently past
      Exotic stranger temple oils stick to your palate
      the old dusty earth smells musty
      as if the centuries were stored in it
      and then you have to think about the old cellar of your grandmother
      the ancient wrinkled apples down there
      You're smiling
      why did you have to bite in there ...

  2. WhiskyJug scored this whisky 91 points Expert Senior

    Karuizawa 1980/2015 (61.6%, OB, The Whisky Show) Four stars Picture of a mock-up bottle. It does look a bit ‘Kim Jong-il’, doesn’t it.

    Colour: mahogany. Nose: never has any whisky been this close to an old cognac at cask strength. Raisins, peaches, rancio. And then, rather a mineral/medicinal development, with some tiger balm, bandages, and antiseptic (touches). Which you can find in old cognac too. We all know that old spirits converge, don’t we.

    With water: Vicks Vaporub! Not the first time we’re finding this in Karuizawa. That means menthol and eucalyptus galore, plus lemongrass.

    Mouth (neat): starts clean, on oranges and flints, and gets then more mineral/medicinal again. Drinking mercurochrome and liquid clay. That’s meant to be good for your stomach, mind you. I mean, liquid clay, not whisky at 61.6% vol.! Numbs your lips a bit.

    With water: becomes very mentholy. Crème de menthe, salted liquorice, menthol snuff… You need to be acquainted with this style. The problem might be that it does not swim too well, while it’s really too hot when undiluted. Or maybe buy an electronic pipette?

    Finish: very long, salty and mentholy, really extreme. Drinking a blend of seawater and mint eau-de-vie. Or perhaps overcooked manzanilla.

    Comments: love it because it’s so extreme. Extreme whiskies are any taster’s joys, because they’re anything but boring. On the other hand, as far as organoleptical science is concerned, this is almost pure heresy. You’ll find in this one any compound that ends with –ol.

    SGP:373 - 85 points.


  3. copinlondon scored this whisky 93 points Member Senior

    I know where to buy one if anyone is interested 
    • Nose
      93 93
    • Taste
      90 90
    • Finish
      96 96

  4. Marcallan38yo did not rate this whisky Member Senior

    This bottle was sold 3050€ on The Whisky Auction Society(WAS) in March 2017.

  5. Sinbad50 scored this whisky 93 points Expert Senior

    I read on an auction site associated with TWE that there are just 100 bottles of the Golden Samurai.

  6. WhiskyLovingPianist scored this whisky 90 points Connoisseur

    N: When does this happen - two Karuizawa’s side by side? This, followed by the 1981 Noh cask #4676 WB. At time of writing, i’ve no idea what strength this is given TWE haven’t given much info on this, yet to be released whisky - but it smells huge, The ash profile is immediately clear before the huge body is revealed -  thick, sherried maltiness coupled with flavoursome & characterful, toasted, nutty wood. Huge amounts of chocolate there too and peanuts for sure. Theres a quiet but clear, spirity chemical note thats turning more hammy as it opens up, [a little Lowlands shape there?]. Then theres the herbs, fresh & dried, ginseng, angostura bitters, a little treacle-tar, some fresher notes of shallots, sweet ginger, soy sauce,….
    T: Boom, that’s wood-thick, dark & rich and fully sherried with vanilla varnish and more resins flooding through. A touch bitter and fresh but its mainly sweet, chewy malt that reigns. Theres a jostling here, some muddling.
    F: Thick, varnished, vanilla malt and ooh yes - [Meridian] natural yeast extract and fusty walnuts with ham & truffle shavings. That’s a long unravel.

    C: Apparently [according to whiskynotes.de] its a single cask bottling, which makes it all that rarer - and hence £2000 rrp?

    Scores a A- [90]


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