SMWS 132.6 Karuizawa 12yo | 63.0% | Japan
Meet #45 | 21/12/13 | Hosted by Iain
Our Christmas 2013 bash involved old friends, favourite / new whiskies and a Christmas Whisky Quiz. There were plenty of mixed opinions, loads of delicious food and lots of holiday headaches generated.
Karuizawa has a tendency to smell quite dry and close, but this seemed to give off more fruit than we might've expected. Apricots, oranges, sour cherry schnapps and rotten bananas led into more desserty territory: banana split, almond tart and marzipan. We got some more off-kilter (but perhaps more expected) wafts when match-heads, copper and brand new wellies ccame and said hi. There was also a wee tickle from some feathers, a coating of dry-roasted peanuts and some salt & vinegar. Mulled vinegar presented a more edgy side, whilst condensed milk and 'floral like a meadow' offered a nice, pleasing contrast.
Things started off all illegal: A bit of hit and run, then a caramelled Shelley (illegal in 32 States), a mouthful of melted Jaffa Cake (is that too decadent?) and then "Accrington Stanley - Who are they?!", which is probably illegal to quote in Liverpool / Accrington / dairy farms. I'm not sure of all the relevant laws, but it could be argued that uncooked pancake mix, a mouthful of custard powder and a handful of fuschias are flirting with the law too. Lebkuchen, flambéed Christmas pudding and freeze-dried apricots add to the pudding quota, whilst aniseed, menthol, the tasted of perfume, "fucking weird" and hurt pride sum up a pretty bizarre malt.
Iain seemed to have magical powers over the quiz, yet Russell won?
Finish & Comments
One of the most diverse finishes we've ever had, which sounds like a good thing, but this whisky divided the group and ended up the wrong side of good on average. Japanese crabs, tumbledriers and "accidentally snorting orange juice" provided a summary that's pretty darn hard to interpret. Add to that acetone, eucalyptus and oesophageal burn and you're getting a gnat's breath closer to perception, but sherry came through at the end to give a semblance of normality to a pretty crazy glass of Japanese liquid.
Some general thoughts:
"A sweet heartburn nightmare"
"A crab that climbs trees, that shit isn't right" - Russell
"I can't come, there's a frog in the garden" - Fran
"We talked about our feelings" - Phil
"The finish is like a noodle graveyard" - Saskia
We've always scored out of 10 in our group (see number in red box, below), with scores regularly given across that spectrum. The value out of 100 below is adjusted to the scale most commonly used for whisky reviews, to allow for better comparison.
76 / 100
Detailed scores (out of 10)
Tasting Game Points (out of 0)
No scores available.
[ for other thoughts on whisky and more in-depth activities of the group, check out whisky on meiotic