The Karuizawa distillery

karuizawa distilleryFounded in 1955 by the Mercian company, the single malts from the Karuizawa distillery are without a doubt some of the most sought-after Japanese whiskies.  In 2001, the 12, 15, 17 and 21 year-olds won medals at the International Wine and Spirits Competition in London. Unfortunately however the distillery had already stopped production. The following year, in 2002, the “Vintage” range was launched and it is in this form that it is known to most enthusiasts: un-chillfiltered single casks bottled at cask strength. However, much to the delight of connoisseurs, other ranges with different labels can be found in Europe: the Number One Drinks bottlings, casks selected by the company of the same name which is its official importer in Europe; and then the Noh bottlings, also selected by Number One Drinks, which are considered to have a much more unusual character and taste. In any case, whichever the bottling, Karuizawa regularly receives prizes in international competitions.

Sitting at the foot of Mont Asama, an active volcano, the distillery is located at an altitude of 850m, making it the highest distillery in Japan. This single malt, which has almost reached legendary status, draws all of its unique character from its lava-filtered water and unique climatic conditions. It uses the most sought-after variety of barley, Golden Promise, following in the footsteps of Macallan and Highland Park, and imports the majority from Spain.

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