Karuizawa distillery was established in 1955 in the foothills of Mount Asama, an active volcano at 850 metres above sea level. Karuizawa's Single Malts have won gold medals at tasting competitions and Number One Drinks Co. is the exclusive European importer.
Karuizawa was actually a vineyard in 1955 when then-owner Daikoku-budoshu decided to enter a Japanese whisky industry still in its infancy, and base a distillery in the shadow of active volcano, Mount Asama. In 1962, it then merged with current owner, Mercian.
The distillery is tiny and the aim is traditional, small-scale production to create quality whiskies. Karuizawa uses 100% Golden Promise barley, wooden washbacks, small stills and sherry casks sourced from Spain.
Karuizawa's whiskies are perhaps the closest you'll find to the Scottish malt style in Japan but they still have their own unique character. The water has been filtered through lava and the distillery also experiences very hot summers and extremely cold winters, which results in a different maturation profile.
Karuizawa Japanese Whisky Bottlings
Karuizawa Single Cask #3397 1988, 59.8% abv
Karuizawa Single Cask #6978 1992, 62.8% abv