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Kavalan Solist Sherry Cask

Bitter Cherry Cola and Sherry Punch

2 993

@mystycreekReview by @mystycreek

23rd Dec 2016

1

  • Nose
    23
  • Taste
    24
  • Finish
    23
  • Balance
    23
  • Overall
    93

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Distribution of ratings for this: brand user

This year the biggest winner in MMA is still Kavalan, their Solist Sherry Cask won 4 category awards, including Supreme Champion. Aiming for the luxury market, Kavalan's marketing strategy has always been controversial, they put price tags on their 3yo Solists above most 18yo scotch single malts, but the price doesn't stop people from buying their whiskies. Kavalan's sales volume has boosted 390% in the USA this year, while the total sales in EU is more than twice of the sales in the USA. It seems the top-tier customers are crazy about Kavalan.

The reviewed bottle is a 196ml sample of Sherry Oak cask strength which I recently bought in Kavalan's anniversary sale. After the bottling of single casks the remains were mixed and bottled as samples, so there's just Sherry Oak on the label, but it's about the same as Solist on ABV. Kavalan has diluted their Solists samples from 57% to 54% for a while, so this is probably an older batch. The bottle has been opened for two weeks.

Nose: Big, ripe and fruity. Raisin, syrup, sherry, plum, orange and cherry brandy.

Palate: Woody, the texture is oily and thick. Mango, cinnamon, sour cherry, white pepper, basil and burnt wood. The crisp red fruits hits first, followed by dried herbs, cola and oaky bitterness, making a nice twist in the middle.

Finish: Dark chocolate, barely, nutmeg, roasted peanuts and coconuts. Medium length with clean cut.

Balance: Huge flavors but restrained by the bitterness, all those sweet sherry, sour fruits, spicy herbs and bitter tannin jamming together, just wonderful.

Thoughts: This whisky needs some time to soften, the fruits will come out nicely, better enjoy without adding water. Not youngish in every aspect, heavy and profound, big on flavor, unlike anything I tasted before. Although the price is not so approachable, but this is a must try for every whisky lover.

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9 comments

@Victor
Victor commented

@mystycreek, yes, this is "the good stuff" from Kavalan. It is also the expensive stuff.

We don't see it in my region yet, but I am hopeful. I cannot say that I am enthusiastic about King Car Conductor, and I actively dislike the Kavalan Concertmaster Port Wood. Even the lesser Kavalans are very expensive for what you get.

Solist Sherry and Solist Vinho Barrique are the only two Kavalans I would be interested in owning, but not at scalpers' prices.

Thank you for your review.

2 years ago 0

@mystycreek
mystycreek commented

@Victor here in Taiwan Kavalan Solist Sherry Cask is about $100 usd, probably the best price in the world. Kavalan Classic is trash to me, Concertmaster a bit more acceptable. King Car Conductor and Podium might be solid, but just ok for the price. Solist Vinho Barrique is out of stock everywhere, while Solist ex-Bourbon and Solist Sherry are easier to get.

Luckily, Kavalan's stores have a lot of samples to buy, and people can even have a taste before buying, including Solist ex-Bourbon and Solist Sherry.

2 years ago 0

@Victor
Victor commented

@mystycreek, @ $100, or $130 Solist Sherry is certainly an excellent buy. It doesn't have to go much higher than that to start diminishing interest for me.

2 years ago 0

@Pierre
Pierre commented

@jeanluc this is indeed our post lunch whisky. And a tasty one too!

2 years ago 0

@mystycreek
mystycreek commented

@Victor yep, apparently Kavalan is greedy, Solist Sherry Cask should be tagged under $80 to be good price for me. The fact is their Classic and Solist ex-bourbon are not selling well, reflecting some of their whiskies' quality just don't meet the price. And for those over $200 or $300, well, I guess Kavalan just have more enthusiasm in making money than making good whiskies.

@jeanluc @Pierre good choice for your Christmas whisky, and happy holidays!

2 years ago 0

@casualtorture
casualtorture commented

I loved the soloist bourbon cask. Really big flavors! Was really surprised how good such a young whisky could be.

2 years ago 0

@mystycreek
mystycreek commented

@casualtorture good to hear that, I have a bottle of Kavalan Solist ex-Bourbon which is less impressive, it's solid but a bit young and rough for me. It seems Kavalan Solist Sherry is more consistent in quality.

2 years ago 0

@casualtorture
casualtorture commented

I had the solist bourbon cask at a whisky bar. I would love to try this one, but you guys are right about this being really pricey though. I wouldn't buy a bottle for $150. Cask: B080519045. Bottle #10/226 This was my ex bourbon bottle info I had from the bar.

2 years ago 0

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