Kavalan is a whisky which nobody had ever heard of until about three years ago. It then was chosen in a blind tasting to be the most delicious whisky of the bunch. Whether or not that makes any sense in a tasting of completely random whiskies, I don’t know. I feel a bit like the tasting was set up so that Kavalan would come out on top.
Anyway, Kavalan is produced at King Car distillery in Taiwan. Much like Amrut in Bangalore, India the angel’s share is huge which makes all their whisky bottled at a young age, since you wouldn’t have anything left otherwise.
They produce a regular whisky, the Concertmaster and a lot of ‘Solist’ bottlings. The last one is a cask strength series with all kinds of cask finishes. This Concertmaster is finished in a Port cask. No age statement, no information apart from ABV (40%) and which cask was used to finish this dram in.
Fresh and fruity. Not too sweet but definitely sweet. There’s some wood influence with (most likely) white oak. There are red fruits (strawberry, raspberry) and some tropical fruit too (peaches, mango). After a couple of minutes it does show a certain mustiness, but everything does feel well integrated.
Again fresh, with the port influence becoming more clear. The single malt influence isn’t very clear. I don’t get any malt, and barely and wood flavours. Rather sweet, more so than on the nose. The red and tropical fruits are back too.
The finish continues on like the palate without many new things happening. I find this typical of whiskies matured shortly and in warm climates. Amrut has this in quite a few of their whiskies too. Anyway, still nice and fruity.
This is not a complex dram. It’s tastes are very straight forward, but light and fruity works well for almost anyone. This feels a bit like an entry level dram. The drawback with Kavalan is that is had to travel a lot of food miles, and unlike the earlier Amruts, this is fairly pricy.
Kavalan Concertmaster, 40%, Port Finish, available at The Whisky Exchange at £ 51.95
Edit: The Solist series aren’t finishes but whiskies fully matured on their respective casks. There are four different versions: Bourbon, Sherry, Vinho and Fino. Thanks Billy!