Mars Karuizawa Club
Mars Karuizawa Club is a non-age-statement blended whisky distilled and bottled at Shinshu Mars Distillery and released by Hombo Shuzo for the Karuizawa Club in Hotel Karuizawa. Hombo Breweries opened the Mars Shinshu distillery in Miyata village at the foot of the Komagatake Alps in Japan’s Nagano prefecture back in 1985. Originally, whisky production only happened during the “Winter” – with beer being made there for the rest of the year. This distillery has become so popular that “winter” now lasts for 6 months of the year!
No surprises we’re a big fan of this bottle as we are all with all the whiskies that have come out of the Mars Distillery. Great quality, consistency and depth of flavours and always at a good value price point. This bottle was a tad more premium than the mainstream offerings due to its status as being a whisky exclusively for the Karuizawa Club Hotel.
Nose: Stone fruits such as apricots and nectarines, malt, vanilla, treacle, new wood. Active wood spices and a hit of pepper. Mars peats at 3 different levels and this one seems to be the lightest of those at maybe 4ppm.
Palate: Honey, treacle, dried pears, oranges, vanilla soaked oak, white peaches, white flowers. Decent amount of oak which adds a drying element. The touch of peat. Water adds some extra sweetness, with baking spices and lemon sherbet tang.
Finish: Treacle, honey, tea, vanilla. Water adds salt.
This bottle sold for ¥919 a bottle (¥2757 for three bottles) at the Bonhams whisky auction in Hong Kong back on 28th August 2015. (Check this link to see for yourself – https://www.bonhams.com/auctions/22888/lot/13/ )