Number Nine

Posted by: Matty Lusher
21 March 2023

Skill, Beauty and Tradition.

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The Karuizawa Distillery is arguably one of the most iconic Japanese distilleries. It was built in 1955 on the southern slopes of an active volcano, Mount Asama, in Miyota, based in the Kitasaku District. Owned by Mercian Corporation, it was the smallest distillery in Japan that set out to create a Japanese whisky in the Scottish tradition. Taking inspiration from Macallan, Karuizawa used small stills and sherry butts, which had to be modified to fit on the racking previously used for wine.

The Geisha series was created to celebrate the skill, beauty and tradition of both the Geisha and the Distillery. The bottles feature an incredible artwork picturing half a Geisha printed on a platinum-textured background, which makes a beautiful piece of art when placed next to its partner. They come in a wooden box opening from the top with engraved writing on the front.

The Platinum Geishas mark the last two bottles of Elixir Distillers' nine-part Geisha series. The first bottle is a 40-year-old distilled in 1982 and aged in a sherry cask, giving it that taste of fruit, spice, and oak. There are only 227 of the gracious 40-year-old released. The rarer of the two bottles is a 38-year-old distilled in 1984, also aged in a sherry cask. However, unlike the 40-year-old there were only 137 bottles released of the 38-year-old, making it even harder to get your hands on.

Twenty-two years on, and there are still new bottlings being released by independent bottlers. This poses the question, how much longer can this go on for? How many more releases from the Japanese Giant left? With limited information and the growing rarity of Karuizawa, we need to make the most of what’s coming out now, as there can’t be very many casks left.

This lot sold March 2023 for £25,000.00

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