The Karuizawa Distillery

The Karuizawa Distillery

Among the most famous distilleries in Japan is without a doubt the Karuizawa Distillery. It was constructed in 1955 on the southern flanks of Mount Asama, an active volcano in the Kitasaku District of Miyota. It was the tiniest distillery in Japan, owned by Mercian Corporation, and its goal was to produce Japanese whisky in the Scottish style. Karuizawa employed sherry butts and tiny stills, which had to be customized to fit on the wine rack that had previously been utilized, after taking inspiration from Macallan.

In order to honor the talent, grace, and legacy of the distillery as well as the geisha, the Geisha series was developed. When paired with their counterpart, the bottles’ amazing artwork—which depicts half of a Geisha printed on a platinum-textured background—becomes an exquisite work of art. They are packaged in a wooden box with engraved text on the front that opens from the top.

The final two bottles in Elixir Distillers’ nine-part Geisha series are called Platinum Geishas. The first bottle is a 40-year-old that was aged in a sherry cask, giving it a taste of oak, fruit, and spices. It was distilled in 1982. Only 227 of the charming 40-year-old’s releases exist. The rarest of the two bottles is a 38-year-old that was matured in a sherry cask after being distilled in 1984. But unlike the 40-year-old, the 38-year-old was only produced in 137 bottles, making it even more difficult to obtain.

Even after twenty-two years, independent bottlers continue to release new bottlings. This raises the question of how long this can continue. How many Japanese Giant releases are left? Given the scarcity of information and the increasing rarity of Karuizawa, we must take advantage of the casks that are being released as soon as possible.

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