Karuizawa Spirit of Asama
Ths Spirit of Asama is an incredible, legendary whisky from Japan's Karuizawa distillery. It is a vatting of 77 different sherry casks which were laid down in 1999 and 2000. The sherry character in the finished dram is just astounding, as is the almost rancio-like flavour on the palate. Just brilliant.
Nose: Almond and hazelnut, hints of pine resin and Christmas cake. A touch of morello cherry, boiled sweets and dessert wine, hints of spice, truffle and pine needles.
Palate: Incredibly rich palate entry with notes of sultanas and dark chocolate. Calves leather, soft smoke and overripe grape. Clove oil and nutmeg come late palate, as does the vaguest hints of rancio/truffles.
Finish: Forest floor, sweet sherry and gentle wood smoke. Leathery.
Not for me
Purchased this on recommendation from one of the chaps at the London shop together with a a bottle of 1989 Girvan straight from the cask. This is indeed quite poor having come back to it after it sitting some time in my collection. The Girvan is very good however :)
25th August 2014
I agree with the above post I'm affraid. I think I know what it is that you don't like on the nose; sulphur. My sample of this was packed with the stuff. One of the most sulphur tainted whiskies I've had I'm affraid. I suspect the reason they have released this batch of casks at this age for the vatting is because they are poor casks. Won't be buying, sorry.
27th November 2013
Maybe I made the mistake of trying this after a sample of Hibiki 21yo, maybe it's just not for my taste, but I was left disappointed. I'm a fan of sherried whiskies ('farclas 15 being a regular in my cabinet) but this just didn't float my boat. The nose was too "volcanic" and the rancio notes knocked it off balanced, they weren't integrated enough for me. Something on the nose that I just really did not like. Taste wise it was ok, but for the price I'd tag many other bottles ahead of this. I have however picked up a bottle of the Hibiki 21 I sampled prior to this, I know it's a different whisky and a different price, but it's also in a totally different league and class.
6th August 2013
just had this at a whisky tasting evening and it was superb; take the roigh edges of the glenfarclas 105 and this what you'd end up with. A superb dram, well worth a bottle if you're a fan of sherry finished whisky.
26th July 2013
I am currently tasting this spirit and I felt compeled to leave feedback (don't worry I only had a few sips).
I am not a whisky connoisseur but I have tasted a few good whiskys in the past including a Juras, a Bowmore and most recently a Nikka Taketsuru 17 years, and I can only vouch for Spirit of Asama (48%).
The various tasting notes detailed on this page, sherry, leather, almond, are easily recognisable even to a whisky newby like me. The color is fabulous too, it feels like you are holding gold in your glass, a great feeling. Lastly, I have often experienced burning stomach after tasting a whisky, including with those mentioned above but not with this one, which is a relief.
4th March 2013