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Karuizawa Spirit of Asama–55% abv

13 June 2013 Written by:


So an affordable Karuizawa? what a grand idea! This was the intention of the lovely guys at Number one drinks, and the folks at TWE when they set to vat 77 casks distilled in 1999 / 2000 together to create a NAS Karuizawa that everyone can afford without selling a body organ or a family member to slavery. But how does this compare to the older and much more expensive K’s? The spirit of Asama comes in two forms: one bottled at 46% abv and this one comes at a nicer 55 % abv. This expression is called after Mount Asama , which is located in the same district as the distillery.

Karuizawa Spirit of Asama , 55% abv, £62.45 (at the whisky Exchange)japan_asa2

Nose: that’s some big sherry going on here. I’m not really sensitive to sulphur but the require a lot of that here. If you’re not a sulphur kind of guy , you’re not going to like this one bit. Los of dried fruit action going on here. Spent matches. Prune and sultanas.

Palate: wham! Thick juices and a lot of the. Dried fruit dipped in liquor. Bitter chocolate, prunes , raisins, tobacco and coffee beans. Sulphur colossus. Yup.

Finish: bitter coffee beans. Dark chocolate.  Tobacco.

This is a powerful dram, but lacks the complexity of the more expensive Karuizawas, however It’s a nice entry point to those wishing to own a Karuizawa for a reasonable price. I was a bit turned off by the Sulphur notes, so beware if you are sensitive to those, you might want to look elsewhere.

Score: 82/100

Many thanks to my friend PS for sharing this with me


  • Binga Bus said:

    Sounds like a bad sample to me, would try and source another if you can.

  • Gal(WhiskyIsrael) said:

    Yes. Will try to source another.

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