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The last of a fearsome foursome of Kavalan Whisky tasted in-store. It was a mixed bag I was hoping this one would confirm the hype. A longer blabby version is on my blog.
Kavalan Solist Sherry cask: 59.4% abv. Cask# S081224022
Nose: Coffee, dates, burnt chicory, Alpine bitters. Cooked grape must, slight balsamic edge, all things umami and it's sharp. This isn't a Christmas spice type sherry, it's a dirty big bodied sherry. After a while there is dry cured ham and pepper.
Water brings sulfur forward on the nose, more coffee, wet wool. Lots of meatyness, the nose is big and really pleasant.
Palate: Oh! ok...Sweetened coffee left out on counter overnight, date purée, ginger, gunpowder, an almost metallic, plastic note. It's very much on tannic, oversteeped teas, stewed prunes. There is more traditional spices in the mouth, nutmeg and allspice. Very dark and extractive.
Palate with water is very thin, dates, plasticine, light roast coffees. Really all on chewy dates, spices and cake batter, you get more or that oxydized sherry nuttiness.
The sherry lingers a long time. It's big stuff, maybe even a little tiring in a way.
The cask strength along with the extractive nature of high temperature maturing certainly creates a potent delivery
The Blab: Clearly the Solist editions are the ones to look out for. While that sherry cask haunted me for a couple of days, I'm not sure what I think about these whiskies, it seems that the casks (or the previous contents) are perhaps doing most of the heavy lifting. Oh and yes the price...just saying.