Aged spirits gain notoriety, not for their robust notes and intricate weavings of taste, but for their lineage and history. While many of the world’s renowned vices boast an expansive backstory that could herald the creation of their own feature film, many wouldn’t hold a candle to the rarified “Sapphire Geishas” that you see here – a pair of 30-plus-year-old whiskies from Japan’s late Karuizawa Distillery.
The small-batch whisky offerings are the last of their kind and arrive as the products of a 31, and 36-year-old distillation process. Following the Karuizawa Distillery’s closure in 2000, the single sherry casks were kept safe until earlier this year, when they were utilized for this ultra-limited run. On the bottles’ fronts, buyers are treated to a visual smorgasbord of blue, rose gold, white, and reflective foiling, marking their introduction into the Geisha line, while a large annotation of age sits on the label’s left side. Both bottles have their own flavor profiles, as well, including the “chocolate-covered licorice, cinnamon heat, concentrated fruit, and damp oak” of the 36-year, and the “deep earth, bittersweet chocolate, and dried cherries” of the collection’s 31. Only 146 of the 31-year and 105 of the 36-year bottles are slated for release via The Whisky Exchange’s website, where you’ll have to take part in (and win) a drawing for a chance to purchase the $16,255+ spirit.