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When this Kavalan snatched the world whisky award from under the nose of the Scots, international newspapers were quick to pronounce Taiwan the new whisky centre of the world. Yes, Kavalan has taken many of us by surprise. In less than a decade they’ve build a moloch of a distillery that dwarfs many Scottish counterparts production wise, while maintaining a high quality level, allowing to establish itself as a premium brand.
Let’s just see what the boys from Kavalan cooked up this time…
Description: Like most Kavalans a NAS, bottled at 57.0% ABV, amber in colour.
Nose: Judging by the colour one would come to expect a dark full nose, instead you’ll find a refreshing fruity aroma. Like grenadine with lots of berries: pomegranate, raspberry and red currant. Underneath is a layer where you can distinguish some chocolate, vague notes of coconut and crème brûlée
Mouth: a waxy body and quite spicy on the palate. Not too much I can say…sweet and fruity. Some notes of red currant, but oak flavours are dominant
Finish: short and drying with lots of vanilla, a few flakes of chocolate and cold espresso in the tail
Verdict: a flavourful dram, lovely and gratifying. A nose that’s both intriguing and refreshing. But that cheap, vanilla powered finish does not sit right with me. No wait, let me rephrase that, I outright loathed it. My guess is that they either used a fairly young cask, or bottled it too late allowing the oak to leave its signature mark. Well you’ve done it again vanilla: ruined, what would otherwise have been a great dram. No wonder it took me six months to finally write a review.