Ballot opens for US$12,500 Karuizawa whiskyBy Owen Bellwood
Bottles in the Cities of Japan 35 Year Old Sherry Cask collection from Japanese distillery Karuizawa are being sold for US$12,500 each through a ballot.
150 bottles of the whisky will be offered for sale in this ‘unique’ method, which allows potential buyers to enter a ballot to win the opportunity to purchase one of the rare expressions.
Each of the bottles carries one of six limited-edition designs, said to embody the character of Japan’s most iconic cities: Tokyo, Sapporo, Nagoya, Osaka, Yokohama and Kobe.
The sale is being run through online Japanese spirits retailer, Dekantā.
The company’s founder and director, Makiyo Masa, said: “Karuizawa is synonymous with quality, luxury, and rarity. We’re overjoyed to offer our clients a piece of this legendary silent distillery, and to unveil the beautiful bottle designs honouring six great cities of Japan.”
The whisky itself has spent 35 years maturing in a first-fill Sherry cask, where it developed “a rich, dark and complex nose.” It is described as having “a sweet and creamy palate, peppered with spice, joined by dark chocolate, umami and succulent forest fruits,” with a “long and satisfying” finish.
The Karuizawa distillery ceased production in 2000 and since then, demand for Japanese whisky, including the limited Karuizawa stock, has increased dramatically, pushing up prices as a result.
The ballot is open until 11.59 GMT on 7 February 2018, when ballot winners will be contacted with details on how to complete their purchase.
Last year, the world’s largest known collection of Karuizawa whisky was sold at auction, where it is thought to have set a new world record, fetching almost US$1 million.