Karuizawa Samurai

Samurai were the revered military class of feudal Japan, known for their prestige and privileges until the late 19th century. So it’s no wonder that they became an inspiration for Karuizawa whisky bottlers.

The Karuizawa Samurai series comprises Japanese whisky bottles that were most commonly distilled after 1980. The entire Karuizawa Samurai series represents a meticulously crafted set of 30-year-old bottles from the 1984 vintage, presented in intricately designed wooden cases. Arguably one of the most esteemed collections in the whisky realm. There are ten editions of Karuizawa Samurai, while the remaining bottles were distilled in different years.

It’s important, therefore, to distinguish between the series of Karuizawa Samurai bottles and those that merely feature a Samurai character on the label. Both the former and the latter Karuizawa whisky bottles are valuable elements of the available Karuizawa whisky editions on the market, so we’ve described all Karuizawa whisky bottles where Samurai appears.

Samurai

Samurai Series

10 bottles of Karuizawa Samurai whisky from single casks. All these Japanese whiskies were distilled in 1964 and bottled in the years 2014 and 2015.

Karuizawa 30yo cask#3139 Samurai Label

  • Type: Japanese Whisky
  • Category: Single Cask
  • Bottling series: Samurai Label
  • Distillery: Karuizawa
  • Bottled: 2014
  • Age: 30yo
  • Strength: 55,4%
  • Cask type: Sherry Butt
  • Cask number: 3139
  • Size: 700 ml
  • Number of bottles produced: 494

Karuizawa 30yo cask#3656 Samurai Label

  • Type: Japanese Whisky
  • Category: Single Cask
  • Bottling series: Samurai Label
  • Distillery: Karuizawa
  • Bottled: 2014
  • Age: 30yo
  • Strength: 60,8%
  • Cask type: Sherry Butt
  • Cask number: 3656
  • Size: 700 ml
  • Number of bottles produced: 260

Karuizawa 30yo cask#8354 Samurai Label

  • Type: Japanese Whisky
  • Category: Single Cask
  • Bottling series: Samurai Label
  • Distillery: Karuizawa
  • Bottled: 2014
  • Age: 30yo
  • Strength: 53,3%
  • Cask type: Sherry Butt
  • Cask number: 8354
  • Size: 700 ml
  • Number of bottles produced: 175

Karuizawa 30yo cask#4201 Samurai Label

  • Type: Japanese Whisky
  • Category: Single Cask
  • Bottling series: Samurai Label
  • Distillery: Karuizawa
  • Bottled: 2015
  • Age: 30yo
  • Strength: 57,4%
  • Cask type: Sherry Butt
  • Cask number: 4201
  • Size: 700 ml
  • Number of bottles produced: 358

Karuizawa 30yo cask#6432 Samurai Label

  • Type: Japanese Whisky
  • Category: Single Cask
  • Bottling series: Samurai Label
  • Distillery: Karuizawa
  • Bottled: 2015
  • Age: 30yo
  • Strength: 63,2%
  • Cask type: Bourbon Cask
  • Cask number: 6432
  • Size: 700 ml
  • Number of bottles produced: 404

Karuizawa 30yo cask#3620 Samurai Label

  • Type: Japanese Whisky
  • Category: Single Cask
  • Bottling series: Samurai Label
  • Distillery: Karuizawa
  • Bottled: 2015
  • Age: 30yo
  • Strength: 60,2%
  • Cask type: Sherry Butt
  • Cask number: 3620
  • Size: 700 ml
  • Number of bottles produced: 280

Karuizawa 30yo cask#3622 Samurai Label

  • Type: Japanese Whisky
  • Category: Single Cask
  • Bottling series: Samurai Label
  • Distillery: Karuizawa
  • Bottled: 2015
  • Age: 30yo
  • Strength: 61,1%
  • Cask type: Sherry Butt
  • Cask number: 3622
  • Size: 700 ml
  • Number of bottles produced: 332
  • Label: Karuizawa Samurai

Karuizawa 30yo cask#7843 Samurai Label

  • Type: Japanese Whisky
  • Category: Single Cask
  • Bottling series: Samurai Label
  • Distillery: Karuizawa
  • Bottled: 2015
  • Age: 30yo
  • Strength: 58,3%
  • Cask type: Sherry Butt
  • Cask number: 7843
  • Size: 700 ml
  • Number of bottles produced: 458
  • Label: Karuizawa Samurai

Karuizawa 30yo cask#7963 Samurai Label

  • Type: Japanese Whisky
  • Category: Single Cask
  • Bottling series: Samurai Label
  • Distillery: Karuizawa
  • Bottled: 2014
  • Age: 30yo
  • Strength: 58,1%
  • Cask type: Sherry Butt
  • Cask number: 7963
  • Size: 700 ml
  • Number of bottles produced: 437

Karuizawa 30yo cask#7857 Samurai Label

  • Type: Japanese Whisky
  • Category: Single Cask
  • Bottling series: Samurai Label
  • Distillery: Karuizawa
  • Bottled: 2014
  • Age: 30yo
  • Strength: 58,0%
  • Cask type: Sherry Butt
  • Cask number: 7857
  • Size: 700 ml
  • Number of bottles produced: 508

Karuizawa whisky with a Samurai on the label


Karuizawa 1980 Golden Samurai

  • Type: Japanese Whisky
  • Category: Single Malt
  • Bottling series: The Golden Samurai
  • Distillery: Karuizawa
  • Distilled: 1980
  • Bottled: 2015
  • Bottled for: The Whisky Exchange Whisky Show 2015
  • Strength: 61,6%
  • Cask type: Sherry Cask
  • Size: 700 ml

Karuizawa 1981 Samurai Label

  • Type: Japanese Whisky
  • Category: Single Cask
  • Bottling series: Samurai Label
  • Distillery: Karuizawa
  • Distilled: 1981
  • Bottled: 2014
  • Bottled for: The Whisky Exchange
  • Strength: 63,4%
  • Cask type: Sherry Cask
  • Cask number: 4943
  • Size: 700 ml
  • Number of bottles produced: 119

Karuizawa 1988 Samurai Label

  • Type: Japanese Whisky
  • Category: Single Cask
  • Bottling series: Samurai Label
  • Distillery: Karuizawa
  • Distilled: 1988
  • Bottled: 2014
  • Strength: 57,4%
  • Cask type: Sherry Butt
  • Cask number: 3406
  • Size: 700 ml
  • Number of bottles produced: 312

Karuizawa 1986 Samurai Label

  • Type: Japanese Whisky
  • Category: Single Cask
  • Bottling series: Samurai Label
  • Distillery: Karuizawa
  • Distilled: 1986
  • Bottled: 2014
  • Strength: 56,5%
  • Cask type: Sherry Butt
  • Cask number: 6206
  • Size: 700 ml
  • Number of bottles produced: 312

Karuizawa 1987 Samurai Label

  • Type: Japanese Whisky
  • Category: Single Cask
  • Bottling series: Samurai Label
  • Distillery: Karuizawa
  • Distilled: 1987
  • Bottled: 2014
  • Strength: 58,4%
  • Cask type: Sherry Butt
  • Cask number: 2031
  • Size: 700 ml
  • Number of bottles produced: 313

Karuizawa 1987 Samurai Label

  • Type: Japanese Whisky
  • Category: Single Cask
  • Bottling series: Samurai Label
  • Distillery: Karuizawa
  • Distilled: 1987
  • Bottled: 2014
  • Strength: 58,4%
  • Cask type: Sherry Butt
  • Cask number: 2031
  • Size: 700 ml
  • Number of bottles produced: 83

Karuizawa 1981 Sakura

  • Type: Japanese Whisky
  • Category: Single Cask
  • Bottling series: Samurai Label
  • Distillery: Karuizawa
  • Distilled: 1981
  • Bottled: 2012
  • Age: 31yo
  • Strength: 62,8%
  • Cask type: Sherry Cask
  • Cask number: 158
  • Size: 700 ml
  • Number of bottles produced: 45

The Samurai and Geisha bottlings are among the most sought-after editions, often appearing in auctions with prices steadily rising. Particularly in UK-based online auctions, the value of limited edition Karuizawa releases from three to ten years ago seems to have turned to stone.

In the same vein as movies like The Last Samurai, Harakiri, or Seven Samurai, Karuizawa bottles featuring Samurai on their labels uphold the memory of traditional Japanese martial arts and the very figure of the warrior that was the samurai.