So, a whisky from Taiwan?? The main thing i saw in that country were some fruit wines!
But am open-minded, so i didnt think twice and wasn’t skeptical when i was invited to taste a range of Taiwanese malts. In fact, i sacrificed a much-needed nap. Haha
Was it worth it? For sure. All KAVALAN whiskies i tried were good. It was tough to pick a favourite.
On the firing line that evening at Whisky Tango Foxtrot in Damansara Heights were four varieties, out of a total of seven expressions! Quite a range.
The welcome drinks were the KAVALAN King Car Conductor (46%) ABV. I didnt ask how it got its name.
An easy-drinking whisky, a lil spice, a lil sweetish, with a medium finish. Good balance. Actually all the whiskies are easy on the palate.
The Classic is the best-seller, and gave me a nose of liquorice. It tastes clean and pleasant, with some fruit-spice in the mix.
The Concertmaster has a weird bottle. It looks more like absinthe than anything else. It’s richer than the rest, with some sweetness and some complexity. It was a lil difficult to figure out as i had a damn cold.
An interesting drink is the Solist Ex Bourbon Cask. The name says it all – it’s aged in those barrels. This deep whisky does give you a quick bitch-slap, but it passes quickly, and you’d never guess it rolls in at 57%.
Unsurprisingly, this is Taiwan’s first single malt, and it’s only been tickling livers since 2008. Very young.
But it’s whooped ass. Between 2010 to 2013, KAVALAN won an incredible number of gold medals – at the highly-respected IWSC (International Wine & Spirits Competition) and SWSC (San Francisco World Spirits Competition). It was also in the best-selling whisky guide, 101 Whiskies To Try Before You Die. Prices however are on the high side, more than most Scotch whiskies.
It’s named after the earliest tribe that ran the show in the Yilan Valley.
The barley is sourced from Scotland, and the distillery is an hour from Taipei.
You can get them at certain bars (Barn Thai, Whisky Tango Foxtrot) as well as retailer Single And Available in BSC (Bangsar Shopping Centre), where there are monthly tastings.
The whisky has no age expression, and since it’s not a Scotch, they can legally be younger than five years.
As long as they taste good and are balanced, I have no issue with age!
Brain damage: 7.5/10