Category Archives: Kavalan

Kavalan Single Malt Whisky – King Car Whisky

Taiwan – 40%ABV – 200ml sample (thanks to Ian Chang of Kavalan for the sample)

I first heard about Kavalan single malt whisky back in January when Luxist posted the details of a blind taste test with Charles Maclean as a taster:

“In a blind taste test organized as part of Scotland’s Burn’s Night festivities a Taiwanese Whisky shocked everyone by coming out as the clear winner over its Scottish and English rivals.

The contest took place in a hostelry north of Edinburgh and when the results were announced whisky connoisseur Charles MacLean exclaimed “Oh my God, is this an April Fools?” The scores tallied up with Taiwan’s Kavalan receiving 27.5 points out of a possible 40, with the next place (the premium Scottish brand Langs) scoring only 22 points.  The other competitors were Scotland’s King Robert (20 points), England’s St George (15.5 points), and Scotland’s Bruchladdich X4+3 (only 4.5 points out of the possible 40).

Kavalan comes from Taiwan’s first distillery, which was built by a firm from Banffshire, and uses Scottish malt in its production.”

This is the beauty of blind tasting.  Take away the label and all presumptions dissolve.

For the next four days, Gal of Whisky Israel and I will be sharing our thoughts on the Kavalan range.  While I’m not tasting these whiskies blindly, Gal and I will not be sharing our thoughts on these whiskies prior to our posting them.  Be sure to check out Gal’s notes on this whisky (a link to Gal’s review is listed below my notes).

On the nose Light nose.

A touch grassy and very honied.

Hints of pears.

Coconut soup with all of the fixings but mainly some lime leaf.

Sugared hard candies.

On the mouth Perfect mouthfeel – almost succulent.


Fresh ground coffee.

Cooked sugar.

Finish Sweet finish.

Medium length and traces of tropical fruits.

In sum While not an overly complex whisky, it’s balanced quite nicely and dangerously drinkable.  Though not an everyday dram, I can picture myself reaching for this any day I’m looking for something light.  A nice summer dram.  Enjoy in warmer weather.

You can read Gal’s notes here.