A bottle of Karuizawa 38 Year Old, one of a pair of Pearl Geishas released in 2018. This sherry-aged malt was distilled in the early 1980s and bottled by Elixir Distillers exclusively for The Whisky Exchange. Each bottle in the pair has complementary labels designed by The Whisky Exchange's creative director Raj Chavda and are presented in individual wooden cases.
This is bottle number 020 of 172; it was bottled from cask number 4348.
Karuizawa was founded in 1956 by Japanese wine and spirits producer Daikoku Budoshu to supply malt whisky for the company's Ocean blends. Despite a rocky start due to import restrictions, the distillery began importing Golden Promise barley from the UK and producing a Scottish-style spirit which was matured in Spanish sherry casks, though it was still destined for the company's blending vats. By the late 1980s and 1990s, Karuizawa started to earn a reputation as a single malt, but this wasn't enough to stop the distillery closing in 2001 when its owner, by then called Mercian, was acquired by drinks giant Kirin. In 2007, UK bottler Number One Drinks started to release single casks of Karuizawa and these grabbed the attention of whisky fans worldwide. More independent bottlings were to follow, and with stocks depleting, each new release has become a major event in the whisky calendar.
This Karuizawa 38 Year Old Cask #4348 sold at our online auction for £14,000