1981 Karuizawa Sakura will lead Japanese whisky sale

A bottle of 1981 Karuizawa Sakura whisky is selling at Whiskey.Auction, with a reserve of £10,000 ($14,604).

It's set to headline an auction of Japanese whiskies, many from an important single owner collection.

Karuizawa whisky 1981
Karuizawa was one of Japan's best distilleries

Bidding closes on May 3.

Karuizawa is a legendary Japanese distillery, established in the mountain resort town of the same name in 1955.

It developed a reputation for producing some of the country's finest whiskies, but ceased production in 2000.

It remains a firm favourite with fans of high-end whisky, but can be difficult to find and always attracts strong bids at auction.

Only 45 bottles of 1981 Sakura were ever produced - with the present specimen (number 13) bottled from cask in 2012. Another sold for $17,371 in Hong Kong last year.

Also on offer is a 1971 Karuizawa Noh, which is expected to exceed £6,500 ($9,492).

One of only 82 bottles in existence, it's also likely to receive strong interest. It was only available in Germany on its release in 2013.

Enrico Gaddoni, manager of Whiskey.Auction, told trade website the Spirits Business: "This is one of the most impressive selections of Japanese whiskies that has ever come up at auction."

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