Deep brown amber color. The nose is absolutely fantastic, rich and luscious and is filled with sherry, cane sugar, wisps of fresh air, oak, and the lightest hint of smoke deep in the background. The palate is spiced wood and some carry over from the nose. The finish is wonderful, envelopes the mouth and leaves a satisfying and lingering finish - a little hot, but I like that here. A drop or two of water lessens the heat, but I don't think is overly necessary or does that much here. I really like it as is. One note - it took about 5 minutes for everything to fully develop and start to appear. Overall, I was extremely close to giving this an A and I think many would. I loved the nose and liked the palate. I was worried about the hype on this one, but it really delivers. A-/A [8/22/13]
Nose: Bourbon like nose with caramel and lots of oak. In fact, it's more than "bourbon like;" nosing this blind, I'd probably guess that it was a bourbon though there are some residual fruit notes.
Palate: Opens with nice, sweet fruit notes. Midpalate this picks up a lot of the oak that's apparent in the nose.
Finish: Big oak with a touch of bitterness.
This isn't a typical Karuizawa, the oak is the prevalent note as opposed to the rich sherry notes that are typical in these Number One Drinks bottlings. While some might think it's over-oaked, I liked it (though admittedly, I'm a bit of an oak fiend).