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New rare Karuizawa Distillery release from The Whisky Exchange unveiled

The Sapphire Geishas is latest release in exclusive bottling series from lost Japanese distillery
The Sapphire Geishas release from The Whisky Exchange.
The Sapphire Geishas release from The Whisky Exchange.
The Whisky Exchange has launched the latest in its series of bottlings from Japan's Karuizawa Distillery.

The Sapphire Geishas will be the fifth launch in the Geisha series, bringing more rare liquid from Karuizawa to a global audience when it goes on sale this week.

Bottled by Elixir Distillers, the release is a pair of single-cask sherried whiskies aged for 31 and 36 years. Only 146 bottles of the 31 years old and 105 bottles of the 36 years old are available, retailing at £12,500 and £15,000 respectively.

The Sapphire Geishas' launch marks the 65th anniversary of the founding of the Karuizawa Distillery, which ceased production in 2000 and was demolished in 2016.

The release will be available exclusively from The Whisky Exchange via an online ballot, which opens at 2pm GMT on 17 February and will close at 11.59pm GMT on Wednesday, 26 February.

Sukhinder Singh, co-founder and owner of The Whisky Exchange, said: "With the continued interest in Japanese whisky on a global scale, Karuizawa has been at the forefront of the phenomenal rise in value of rare Japanese whisky. The fact that the distillery has not produced whisky for so many years makes it particularly valuable to collectors around the world."

Tasting notes supplied by The Whisky Exchange say that the 31 Years Old Sapphire Geisha has chocolate and leather notes on the nose, dried fruit with an earthy savouriness on the palate, and chocolate-covered Seville oranges and notes of cedar on the finish, while the 36 Years Old Sapphire Geisha brings dried cherries, raisins, damp wood and cedar notes on the nose, a kick of chocolate-covered liquorice, blackcurrants, brown sugar sweetness and hints of tar and spice on the palate, and mint, pine and soft dried fruits on the finish.