Karuizawa 8 [The Dam Pub Flight Review Set #1]

Kuraizawa 8

Hey, have you gone to the The Dam Pub yet? Why not? 700 different whiskies. And it’s in Thornbury, a quaint town with a Cheese shop and loads to do.

Not to mention, you can visit Collingwood for their annual, massive Elvis festival. Seriously, what more do you people need?

Alright, I know what you need: Something that’s been mentioned as a “Dram you must have if you find it”, the Karuizawa 8. Well, not specifically this one, but anything done by Karuizawa.

Yeah, that’s right, this is a rare bottling, only for the Japanese market, made by the now closed distillery of Karuizawa in Japan. I mean, what more do you people need? It’s rare, it’s in a growing whisky market, and finally, they only did small batches!

Seriously though, there’s a lot more to this than just being a dust collector for… collectors. It’s single cask, mostly aged in sherry casks, used barley from Scotland, and is aged in climates that are similar to the Highlands. Oh, and the water comes from springs that flow through or over lava rock

I mean, if they aren’t doing it right, than who is? And there’s talk of the current company expanding their distillery, though that was back in 2007, and I haven’t seen much, so that may no longer be the case.

Price: Not available in Ontario

Region: Japan

Abv: 40%

Colour: Goldenrod

Nose: Flowers, memories of butterflies, smoke, peanuts, grapes, hard caramel candies, lemon rind

Any time something sets off memories, it’s good. Any time something is complex, it’s good. Any time I don’t have to fly around the world to a culture that I may stick out like a sore thumb and be claustrophobic, it’s good.

Reminds me of a Lowland. But a Cask Strength Lowland, with some Highland notes (nutty, caramel) added in.

Taste: Lemon, smoke, cocoa, cayenne, sweet lettuce, red fruits

Wait, where did the smoke come from? Where am I? Why am I not wearing pants? Why does this always happen to me?

Seriously though, this has a wonderful mixture of flavours, some earth, some sweetness, and just the right amount of smoke. This is tasty.

Finish: BBQ, chocolate, mole sauce, chalk, duck, rich strawberry, peat

It finishes exactly like a mole sauce. And some chalky and the taste of duck confit and wow this is amazing.

Like they took all the most pretentious flavours I could ever name and just aimed them at my tongue.

Conclusion: Try it. Buy a bottle. Buy 2. This is what whisky should taste like. Doesn’t matter that it is 40%. Complex, good mouth feel, tries new things while reminding me of well done Scotch.

This is the missing link between Lowlands and Islays. If I had more memories pop up from the whisky, it’d be one of the best I’ve ever had.

I’ll need my Flair changed to “Karuizawa 8 Tourist Trap”


World Whisky review #46, Japan review #6, Whisky Network review #231

1001 Whiskies to taste before you die review #130

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