Karuizawa 1964 48 year old Japanese Whisky (57.7%)

on Feb 12 in Editorial, Japanese, Single Malt Whisky by dan


Here is some breaking news from the world of high end Whiskies, and I am sure that this will be music to the ears of whisky investors. Wealth solutions, in conjunction with One Drinks Co is releasing an Old rare Whisky the likes of which you rarely see. Read on to find out more:

Cask #3603 from Karuizawa, filled on 1st September 1964 and bottled on Christmas Eve 2012, is one of the oldest Japanese single malt whiskies in history. At the time of bottling it was the oldest expression of the now-closed Karuizawa. Only 143 individually-numbered bottles will be available.

Number One Drinks Company acquired the last casks of Karuizawa in August 2011 and this is one of the legendary distillery’s most ancient casks. Matured for over 48 years in a 400 litre sherry oak cask, the whisky lay undisturbed in a traditional dunnage warehouse at Karuizawa before being transferred to Chichibu where it was bottled at cask strength (57.7% abv). It is naturally coloured and non-chill filtered to retain maximum flavour, mouth feel and integrity. Cask #3603 is one of the very few Karuizawa casks left from the 1960s.

Karuizawa matures magnificently over an extended period, as shown by this bottling.

  • “Absolutely top drawer whisky and a treat from start to finish. 94/100,” observed prolific whisky author Dominic Roskrow.
  • “First, it’s brilliant whisky, and second, it’s ‘different’ whisky. Respect. 95/100,” added Serge Valentin, a whisky expert and Malt Maniac, who recently named Karuizawa as one of only six Grand Cru Classé single malts in his personal ranking.
  • It’s fairly common to compliment mature whiskies on how young and vibrant they are despite their old age. This 1964 Karuizawa is far beyond such platitudes. Only time and a large dose of luck could have conspired to make this; a rare whisky that creates a world of its own and holds it together so beautifully, like an image of nature at its best,” commented Stefan van Eycken, blogger and editor of Nonjatta, the leading Japanese whisky website.

Polish black fossil oak

As befits this extraordinary whisky, the presentation is exceptional. A bespoke, heavyweight version of the traditional Karuizawa bottle is housed in a dark wooden box with a front made of Polish black fossil oak.

“The fossil oak is symbolic: the last part of the name ‘Karuizawa’ means swamp. This oak is hundreds of years old and has been recovered from ancient Polish swamps,”

said Marcin Miller, Managing Director of Number One Drinks Company.

Each bottle is presented with a specially commissioned book by Dave Broom, the leading authority on Japanese whisky, who states:

“Karuizawa is Japanese whisky unlike any other. It is big, it is bold, it has solidity and weight, it is richly fruited, it revels in its oiliness, it has smoke, but has retained the very Japanese qualities of heightened aroma and precision of flavor.”

This limited edition of Karuizawa whisky was bottled exclusively for clients of Wealth Solutions, so you will be lucky to get a bottle, but its always worth keeping a look out, as you never know…

UPDATE: Word on Facebook is:

“Apparently (after ‘Googleing’ a bit) all bottles have been pre-sold , apart from one that will be available to buy from Master of malts. I wonder how much that’ll be????”

I hope Dave doesn’t mind me quoting him on that comment he left on Facebook.

Further probing via twitter and Facebook has revealed that the bottles were all pre-sold at just shy of five figures at a reputed £8,995. Wow!

Master of malt page a page on their website for the one bottle they had to sell. Whisky Collector Andy Simpson made a good point saying “Expensive. £321.25 per 25ml measure. Why am I not a millionaire!”.

Regardless its all but over and done with for the moment. All the bottles have been sold, and if you want some now, you are looking at an auction or buying it via a private deal.

Got Any thoughts?
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