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The Whisky Exchange releases penultimate Karuizawa Geishas

By LLM Reporters  |  September 17, 2021
Ruby Geishas bottles

Two new and extremely rare Japanese whisky bottlings will retail at £18,000 and £20,000.

Since the first pair of Karuizawa Geishas were launched in 2013 the series has become highly sought after by whisky lovers worldwide, and now The Whisky Exchange is exclusively launching the penultimate pair — the Karuizawa Ruby Geishas.

The latest pair consists of a 34-year old and a 38-year-old whisky, both matured in sherry butts, providing the classic rich and dark Karuizawa style. Both bottlings bring together sweet and savoury notes into an intense but balanced whole. 

Bottled by Elixir Distillers exclusively for The Whisky Exchange, this pair is the eighth, and penultimate, release in the famous Geishas series. With only very few casks left from the long-closed Karuizawa distillery, these bottlings are some of the rarest whiskies on the market. 

The Whisky Exchange and Elixir Distillers
They are extremely limited in numbers, with just 247 bottles of the 34-year-old and 223 bottles of the 38-year-old available

Over a decade ago, Sukhinder Singh, co-founder of The Whisky Exchange and Elixir Distillers, was one of just a handful of people to purchase the remaining casks from the closed Japanese whisky distillery, Karuizawa. Since then, these casks have been carefully nurtured and monitored, bottled only when Sukhinder believes the time is right. 

For this reason they are extremely limited in numbers, with just 247 bottles of the 34-year-old and 223 bottles of the 38-year-old available. They will be sold via The Whisky Exchange by ballot, retailing at £18,000 and £20,000 respectively. Anyone interested in purchasing a bottle will need to visit the Karuizawa Geishas page and follow the links to enter the ballot before 11.59pm BST on 21 September 2021. 

About the Karuizawa Geisha series

Karuizawa distillery
Situated at the foot of Japan’s most active volcano, the Karuizawa distillery story began in 1956 when drinks firm Daikoku-Budoshu built a distillery alongside its vineyards near the resort town of Karuizawa

The beautifully presented Geisha series is designed by Raj Chavda, creative director at The Whisky Exchange, to celebrate the skill, beauty and tradition of the geisha as well as pay tribute to this great distillery. The geishas are often misunderstood; their beauty and artistry misconstrued as the product of a bygone era, and these iconic labels, represent different aspects of what it means to be a geisha and the skills and fortitude required to become one. The Ruby Geishas are the eighth pair to be released, exclusively by The Whisky Exchange.

About the Karuizawa distillery

Situated at the foot of Japan’s most active volcano, the Karuizawa distillery story began in 1956 when drinks firm Daikoku-Budoshu built a distillery alongside its vineyards near the resort town of Karuizawa, aiming to create traditional, small-batch whiskies close to the Scottish malt style. While they originally created whiskies destined for blending vats, in 1977 the Karuizawa focus changed to also incorporate single malts from the distillery.

Unfortunately, despite popularity in Japan, the Karuizawa distillery fell victim to the decline in demand for Japanese whisky, closing its doors in 2001. To put an end to any hopes of a revival, the distillery was demolished in 2016, enhancing the rarity of the remaining liquid.