There are some names that can make a dedicated Japanese whiskey fan cry, knowing they may never taste the drink.
One particularly lauded place is Karuizawa, a long-haul distillery whose whiskeys fetch tens of thousands of dollars on the secondary market. However, the distillery has been revived and will soon produce a new whiskey, giving spirit lovers a chance to try much younger but slightly more accessible expressions.
Over the next few months, Karuizawa will begin distilling and cask-filling the new whiskey, albeit in very limited quantities.
The whiskey is aged exclusively in sherry casks, of which only 250 are filled per year, and no bottle is bottled for at least ten years, so it will be some time before the new whiskey is tasted.
However, the hype has begun, and casks are already being bought, with the 2022 allocation already sold out and available exclusively in partnership with the Japanese whiskey website Dekanta (2023 casks will be on sale soon). Of course, there is no telling if the new whiskey will match the fabulous quality of the bottles, which are at least another 10 years old, but whiskey investors seem to be pretty confident.
The original Karuizawa Distillery was built in 1956 and produced sherry cask-aged whiskey, which was mainly used in blends until it closed in 2000. The original shares of Karuizawa were then bought by private parties and sold at a very high price.
Some recent examples include the Last Masterpiece 1970, a 50-year-old whiskey, of which just over 200 bottles were made available through BlockBar earlier this year. And in 2021, Ruby Geishas were listed on the Whiskey Exchange, and the 34 and 38-year-old whiskeys are still available alongside other single malts in the Geisha range.
“Japanese whiskey fans like me, who have come to respect the scarce liquid left behind by Karuizawa, will soon be able to taste what we thought was impossible,” Dekanta founder Makiyo Masa said in a statement. “The whiskey and heritage of Karuizawa are known around the world, and I am delighted that Dekant is a pioneering brand that will make the dreams of Japanese whiskey lovers come true.” That’s quite a legacy, assuming you’re one of the lucky few who got to sample a vintage bottle from the original distillery. And hopefully, ten years from now, Japanese whiskey will still be a hot commodity for everyone involved.
Source:Dekanata, Robb report