The View from the Golden Promise is a chance to see the bottles under the hammer at finespirits.auction in a new light. To give you this fresh perspective, we’ve called on two experts from the Golden Promise Whisky Bar.
60.5%, 70 cl, 2013, Sherry Butt #78, Number One Drinks for La Maison du Whisky
As well as its stunning labels designed by Japanese artist Yuuka Yamada, this series of four casks selected by La Maison du Whisky also boasts exceptional quality. Cask #78 is a sherry cask bottling with extraordinary finesse that reveals notes of cigar, orange jam and leather. It is also herbaceous (verbena, aniseed, absinthe). The fruit is very present, once again revealing orange, apricot and mango. The finish maintains the same fruity and spicy aspect. A delicate Karuizawa in which sherry gracefully highlights the distillate’s aromas without overpowering it.
47.8%, 75 cl
Unsurprisingly, the wood is fairly strong in this venerable bourbon, especially compared to younger versions in the range. Although the additional years of maturation have given it a more tertiary character (leather, hazelnut), it has nonetheless remained very mellow, revealing notes of vanilla, honey and caramel that are pepped up by flavours of orange and spice (nutmeg, saffron). This outstanding bourbon has evolved with time, developing more complexity without losing any of its virtues.
43%, 70 cl
Rather impressively, the oldest expression in the Taketsuru range of blended malts—created in tribute to the “father” of Japanese whisky—was named Best Blended Malt four times between 2007 and 2011 at the World Whiskies Awards. When tasting the whisky, it is easy to see why. The nose is bright, rich (frangipane), fruity (candied citrus fruits, apricot) and spicy (clove). Powerful, it develops vanilla, herbaceous and liquorice notes. The palate is mellow, spicy (nutmeg, clove) and rich (coffee éclair). Dried fruit and candied citrus fruit give a clear nod to the sherry cask ageing, and candied pineapple and papaya add a delicious exotic dimension. The finish is long, liquoricey and salty.
63%, 70 cl, 2014, Bourbon Cask #6476, LMDW
For me, this version is one of the finest examples from the legendary Mount Asama distillery. Even more so as it is part of the Artifices series created by La Maison du Whisky, which features five bottlings, with this the only bourbon cask (don’t be misled by the colour). Many enthusiasts consider the vintages from the first half of the 1980s among the best, and this bottling is no exception. While the distillery’s trademark is its sherry cask maturations, as I have already mentioned, Karuizawa’s bourbon casks can also be outstanding, as this 1980 shows. The nose is lively, full and herbaceous. Then comes a basketful of very ripe fruits (yellow peach, nectarine), as well as malted barley and vanilla notes. Aromatic herbs (coriander, dill) provide refreshment. The palate is powerful and bursting with fruit, just like the nose. Karuizawa’s trademark notes of liquorice and leather then appear, making the exotic notes (passion fruit) that follow even more surprising! The finish is long, dense and resolutely Japanese, with a thick burst of dashi. A Karuizawa that requires no artifice to win us over!