Tasting Karuizawa 1977 cask # 7026 Noh Whisky

Last week when going through my stack of samples in several boxes, and trying to make sense of what I got and should taste, I came over a few gems, one of which was this whisky. I filled a wee sample of this last year when I visited Sjoerd who was lucky enough to buy some lovely Karuizawas when the price was much saner a few years back, and he kindly offered me to try some.  Last night a good whisky friend came over, and we shared a few lovely drams, and this one was one of them. I did expect this to be quite epic, and boy did it deliver. Just for comparison, the preceding dram was a 45 year old single cask Glenglassaugh, which was wonderful, yet this one is in another league. According to whiskybase this bottle costs 3K Euro if you can find it, which is pretty insane. Back then I am told it sold for 150…

Basically this came from a sherry butt, and you can see it from the amazing color. this whisky is almost black! 30 years in an active sherry cask can do that, right?  Also something worth noticing is the ABV.. over 62% after 30 years of maturation is not something you see every day. I wonder under what conditions it was aged to allow for that small an angel’s share.

Karuizawa 1977 cask # 7026 Noh Whisky  , 30 yom, 62.8 %, € 2999NOH_K-1977

Nose: Very deep and complex, layered with tobacco, some dirty sherry and Shitake Mushroom. there’s also plenty of thick sweet aromas : Plum jam on top of Cigar leaves and then tons of dried fruit with a hint of sulfur .

Palate: Boom. this starts BIG. no wonder when you understand it’s over 62%… Pepper. Cigar leaves. Ash. Burnt sugar. Crème Brule. Oak and plum paste. Cigar humidor. earthy Peat. Smoke. It’s just very complex, I bet you can discover more if you give it enough time… This is something to savor.

Finish: Memories of cigar leaves, quite  bitter (think of bitter English cake fruit), ash.

In a word: Epic.

In a few more words : This is stuff that dreams are made of , it’s big, full of flavors, and layered of aromas, with everything from sweet to ashy to spicy you can think of, and it all is integrated wonderfully. Epic stuff.  What a way to open 2015 !!

Score: 95/100

Many thanks to Sjoerd for this one.

2 thoughts on “Tasting Karuizawa 1977 cask # 7026 Noh Whisky

  1. You’re welcome.

    The Angel’s Share in Japan is different to Scotland with the humidity being less than here. Because of the lower humidity, the amount of water that evaporates is higher, up to an almost 50/50 level. Therefore the ABV stays pretty much the same in a lot of cases.

    In Kentucky it’s even drier which means the water evaporates quicker than the alcohol and therefore the ABV rises (hence the George T. Stagg ove 70%, when they’re casked at 62.5)

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