In the category of ‘world whisky’, Taiwan’s Kavalan] is right up there with the best.
The distillery only opened in 2005, but the expressions produced have won a stack of awards, including World’s Best Single Malt at the 2015 World Whiskies Awards.
The expression we’re trying today is the Solist Sherry Cask, a single malt bottled at a cask strength of 58.6%.
The first thing you notice about this whisky is the colour; it’s ridiculous!
More tawny / brown than pink there is no mistaking the cask influence here. It does remind me of the SMWS Glenlivet, but there aren’t that many whiskies around which are this colour.
Our notes are below.
Dates, raisins, milk chocolate, cinnamon and nutmeg. It’s rich, but ‘drier’ than you might expect – more cake mixture rather than Christmas cake.
Oily thick liquid, the initial dried fruit flavours are consistent with the nose. Treacle and liquorice combine with coffee bitterness and a slighty savoury note to balance things out well.
The flavours stay consistent until a leather dryness takes over and leads into a burnt caramel finish. Turns almost ‘bourbon-y’ right at the end.
This Kavalan Solist is definitely a good whisky and a great alternative to Scotch. It manages to balance very bold, dark flavours from the cask without becoming cloying – this may simply be because it is a younger whisky, but the result is very satisfactory.
One for the sherry monsters!