When I visited the Taiwan in January 2019, I brought two Distillery Reserve releases from the Kavalan Distillery: a Peaty Cask and a Rum Cask. The Peaty Cask stayed in Belgium, the Rum Cask went to Holland. But when I buddy Manny saw my tasting notes online, he decided to bring his bottle with him on his next visit and open it up together. That’s what friends are for. And it was good…
Aromatic and almost perfumed nose on both European and tropical fruit. Think apple, quince, kiwi, mango, mandarin and gooseberries. Wonderfully fruity with a trace of woodsmoke. There is also a floral hint, albeit in the back. Almost potpourri. Some incense and menthol. This is quite good!
It is mouth coating, almost creamy, and immediately very sweet, but at the same time very spicy. You don’t know where to look (well, taste) first. Left I get some yellow and white fruit, right I get black pepper, cloves and even some curry powder. The saliva glands go into overdrive to soften the spices, making the fruit stand out more. Pineapple on the barbecue, baked apples and bitter oranges. The wood kicks in and offers a soft bitterness, creating a lovely balance on this Asian malt.
The finish makes the tasty sensation complete. Sweet, spicy, warm and long. The mouth is left pretty dry, though.
A completely different animal than the Peaty Cask, but just as tasty. That says a lot about the quality of the spirit in my book. Kavalan is top. Thanks, Manny!