Fans of rare Japanese whiskey can look forward to an exciting new year. Karuizawa, one of the most sought-after names in the region’s top single malts is about to turn its back. Well, kind of…
The playhouse was first reported in Nagano Prefecture in 2000 and since then the live water has gathered secret status. The fire has increased as the remaining stock decreases. The 1960 vintage recently sold for $638,000 per bottle. Even when it’s almost that old, we’ve seen this issue sell for almost half a million dollars. Speak up. And now we want to see this new Karuizawa was born again in a modern $20 factory, about seven kilometers down the road from his original site.
Instrumental in shaping the revival is Ian Chang, co-founder of Kavalan’s award-winning Taiwanese malts. Here, he will be working with the same method of work from the folks at Forsyths, who provide copper for the most respected names in Scotch. It will also use pure water sourced from the foothills of Mount Asama – almost exactly the same composition as the water that would have been used to revive the original Karuizawa. Therefore, all aspects play for this to be a truly unique whiskey. But we’ll have to wait ten years until we know for sure.
Chang plans to put only 250 barrels of liquid into sherry butts each year. But he will not bottle any of it until he rests at least 10. Through the exclusive partnership with online retailer dekantā, Karuizawa will make whole casks for deep-pocketed-collectors. Seniors for 2022 are already sold out, but 2023 is set to sell out soon. So keep your eyes open, don’t expect it to be cheap; The site is not known for offering the most competitive pricing.
In the meantime, you are welcome to visit the facility in person starting in the new year. It has been built to include an elegant and modern guest space. Although what you will enjoy there is still a mystery. Maybe some stellar new Japanese made? If you’re lucky, maybe Karuizawa Distillers’ CEO and founder Koji Shimaoka has collected a few bottles from his predecessors. It is likely that in the near future you will be able to drink the fruit that will be placed under the Komoro label. But one thing is certain: the future will be full of more than Karuizawa.