Karuizawa 1981 Noh Single Sherry Cask 31 Year Old #4333 / Belgium
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.
This series features different masks used in Noh, one of Japan's traditional performing arts. This image features the mask of the Noh character, Shiwa-jō, a revered elderly gentleman nearing deity status.
This limited bottling was distilled in 1981 and bottled in 2013.
Produced from single cask #4333, which yielded only 94 bottles.
This was released as an exclusive to Belgium only.
Bottled at cask strength.