Karuizawa 1980 Golden Samurai
Karuizawa distillery was established in 1955 in the town of Miyota on the southern slopes of Mount Asama. It began production the following year, producing single malt for the Ocean blends from Daikoku Budoshu. Initially it was difficult for the distillery to obtain malt, but a lift on import restrictions in 1958 meant the distillery was able to experiment with the production of a Speyside-esque product, importing the same golden promise barely used at Macallan, and sherry casks. The subsequent quality of output saw it appearing in Japan as a single malt for the first time in the 1980s. Sadly, the Japanese whisky market was not strong at the time, and Karuizawa was closed in 2001 by owners, Mercian, and eventually dismantled. Its legacy is lives on however, with its still relocated to other distilleries in Japan, but predominantly in the hugely sought-after single cask releases that began to appear in 2007, from independent bottler, Number One Drinks. It is now one of the most prestige single malts on the planet, the reverence for which only grows as the remaining stock continues to thin.
Distilled in 1980 and bottled in 2015, this was a dream dram at The Whisky Exchange's Whisky Show in London 2015.
Rather than being put on general release, this was made available to attendees of the show (The Whisky Exchange is the retail arm of Speciality Drinks who were the sole distributor of Karuizawa in the UK). The attendees entered a raffle with the lucky few purchasing the bottle.
The front label depicts a Golden Samurai and the rear label tells the following tale : "On the Nakasendo trail from Kyoto to Edo, when the shogun wielded real power in Japan, there was a place for Samurai Warriors, feudal lords and their servants to stop and take stock of their journey. A place to gather and unwind, to celebrate and steel themselves for the journey ahead. That place was Karuizawa."
Bottled at cask strength.
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Please note: Due to the various ages of bottles and their seals, condition of liquid is at the buyer's discretion and no claim can be lodged against failure/leakage in transit.