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Le Clos unveils Geisha range of Karuizawa

A US$300,000 world-exclusive collection of vintage Karuizawa Japanese whisky has been launched by Le Clos.

The complete Karuizana Geisha Series, the only one of its kind in the world, will be showcased in a bespoke, Japanese-inspired display at Le Clos’ Dubai Airport Concourse A outlet.

The 27 bottles which make up the Geisha Series are the finest expressions of Karuizawa whisky, which have been aged for 29, 30, 31 and 50 years, and were bottled in the 1970s, 1980s and 1990. This is the first time in history that they have been retailed as a full set.

Commenting on the collection, Iain Delaney, COO at Le Clos’ parent company MMI, says: “We are proud of our proven track record and expertise in sourcing rare and unique products and bringing these to market. Japanese whisky is currently one of the most coveted products in the luxury drinks market, and the Geisha Series is the pinnacle of Japanese whiskys. We are truly delighted to bring this collection to our customers”.

Le Clos has the largest range of rare whiskies in the travel retail market, and this collection is one of a number of unusual products the fine spirits and wine specialist has presented in recent months. In December, Le Clos sold a collection of The Macallan Fine and Rare, spanning 1937 – 1990, for a travel retail record-breaking US$500,000.

Given its scarcity, Karuizawa continues to increase in value, making the Geisha Series a very exciting prospect for whisky enthusiasts and collectors across the world.

Its popularity has been rapidly growing in recent years, with demand skyrocketing and the number of casks available falling, as prices are rising.

Before its closure 17 years ago, Karuizawa produced world-class malt whisky for around 50 years. It would import a barley called Golden Promise from Scotland, and aged its whisky in Spanish sherry casks. The whiskies were famed for their floral scent and maturity, and were produced in small batches, making them highly sought-after products.

Karuizawa's whiskies are said to be the closest to the Scottish malt style in Japan, but they still have their own character; the water used to make them was filtered through lava, and the distillery’s scorching hot summers and extremely cold winters resulted in a unique maturation profile.

14 March 2017 - Sam Coyne The Drinks Report, news editor