A Dream Part 2 – Karuizawa 1968, bottled in 2010, 42 Years Old, Single Cask 61% ABV.
Pouring this very last dram (Possibly the last dram in any bar worldwide, given its outrageous price now…) shows its beautiful Burnt Golden Amber nature.
The initial nose is chock full of spice and musk, a strangely alluring and extremely seductive combination which makes each nose an experience in itself. Then you get a little freshness and sweetness like ripe Beurre Bosc pears and a Dark Berry compote. The spiciness intensifies midway and brings about memories of crushed Chinese Ma-La peppercorns. On the back end you get a savory 25year old Japanese soy sauce note (otherwise imagine quality aged balsamic vinegar with more savoriness) and the usual but mystifying Musky undertones.
Take a sip and be hit fast and hard with the spices, star anise, cinnamon and Chinese five spice!, then give a pause and let the intense dark sherry sweetness of sour plums and dark fermented fruits take over. You get earthy herbal notes akin to the finest aged Pu-Erh teas along with plenty of Japanese oak. The finish is long and subtle with a sweet barley and the slightest hint of peat. Amazing. My favorite Dram thus far.
The lighter colour and flavour profile lead me to believe that this whisky may likely be double matured with a sherry and a Japanese oak barrel, possibly Mizunara.