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Kavalan Solist Ex-Bourbon Cask

Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon

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@RantavahtiReview by @Rantavahti

24th Sep 2015


Kavalan Solist Ex-Bourbon Cask
  • Nose
  • Taste
  • Finish
  • Balance
  • Overall

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Distribution of ratings for this: brand user

I sampled this price winning Taiwanese single malt with a bottle marked March 2013. Solist Ex-Bourbon Cask is only 3 years old. matured shortly because of the local climate and oak.

This has Wo hu cang long written all over it. Like a Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, this whisky is kicking it hard, with some complexity though. Young age doesn't show that much, Kavalan has character in aromas and taste.

Nose: The first whiff, without water, gives a strong and nice aroma of pine. Water and some time in the glass: vanilla and bananas take over. Toasted vanilla at first, then sugary. Some creamy coconut is present. Fruity and tropical, feels great.

Taste: Amazing, peppery and salty licorice starts the show. Quite quickly, turns to sugary and tropical. Very sprinkly, like a good gin and tonic. Berries in carbonated form and vanilla butter and toast. And no, not buttery thick, the vanilla butter is a diet version.

Finish: Long, oaky and peppery hot. When the hotness fades away, bananas with tropical fruits in a doughy form make the aftertaste.

Balance: Great dram! Weird to score a whisky so young so high.

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Victor commented

@Rantavahti, thanks for your very nice review.

Kavalan is a solid brand, but, like all brands has some off batches and the occasional dud bottle. Where I live Kavalan is also on the expensive side, as well.

As for hot climate rapid whisky maturation, if I had my way, whisky would be made in every hot climate country on earth. That would be the easiest way to produce large amounts of top quality whisky in just a very few years. None of this waiting around for 20 years stuff. Culture does seem to be a big factor, though. Even though Mexico, for example, could easily make whisky, it doesn't seem to have any current impetus to do so, for, I expect, mostly cultural reasons.

8 years ago 0

Rantavahti commented

Thank you @Victor. That plan would probably lower the prices as well so I'm for it! It's a shame how the prices are evolving higher and higher, restraining the exploration of the wonderful world of whisky.

8 years ago 0

GregLogan commented

What is a shame is the crap that passes for scotch - such as Glenfarclas (Just about everything), my latest GM18 (where did that lovely taste go - barely noticeable - and some burn) - even the GL18 vatting I picked up was unsatisfactory.

On the positive side - a 4yr first fill port aged single cask 16 from Westland Distillery in Seattle, WA, USA - YUMMY!! (four bottles later...:-) )

8 years ago 0

GregLogan commented

BTW - I have found that age has little to do with it - quality distillation - and quality barrels is where it is all at. I had a 2y old from Westland that blew my shorts off - pancakes, bacon and syrup - all rolled into a bottle - yup, that was all I needed for my breakfast!!!

8 years ago 0