Tag Archives: Vanilla Bean Ice Cream

Kavalan Single Malt Whisky “Solist”, ex-bourbon, cask strength

Taiwan – 58.2%ABV – 200ml sample (thanks to Ian Chang of Kavalan for the sample)

This is the final day 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).

Well, so far, for the Kavalan range, I’ve really enjoyed their King Car whisky.  The “Concertmaster” port finished whisky was good (if a little off balance) and the Sherry cask “Solist” was quite the delicious pick-me-up.

This final “Solist” is also a cask strength whisky.  Kavalan have an ex-bourbon cask strength (this one I’m reviewing today) and an ex-sherry (yesterday’s review).

I am a big fan of ex-bourbon cask whiskies and if they’re cask strength… bonus!

Let’s see what we get:

On the nose Big bright bourbony nose filled with vanilla and coconut (almost like a Sno-ball.

Also rubbing alcohol and tropical fruits (think pineapples and even a little guanabana).

Fresh cream (and creamy smelling).

On the mouth Creamy mouth feel – very nice.

Vanilla and honey.

Birch beer with some high effervescence – it’s all fizzy in my mouth.

Finish Long, more fizziness, lemon drops and vanilla ice cream.

In sum A straight forward, light and fruity whisky.  Very impressed with the mouth feel – creamier than I expected, but with some lasting fizz to it – right up my alley.

This is a big, young sweet treat.  Early spring in a warming sun is just right for her.

I truly had a lot of fun reviewing these whiskies (and doing so with Gal!).  I look forward to their being more widely available and feel the world is ready for more “world” whiskies.

Be sure to read Gal’s review here.

Longrow 10yr 100 proof

Campbeltown region – 57% ABV – $90 | £41 | €49

Starting tomorrow I will begin a kosher whisky series (in celebration of the Jewish new year).  Before that series started, I wanted to end this year with one of the better Campbeltown malts out today – Longrow 10yr 100 proof.

Longrow, for those who do not know, is Campbeltown’s heavily peated whisky.  If you’ve not yet tried a whisky from Campbeltown, that needs to change, STAT.  Maybe this can be your first.

On the nose — I initially purchased this whisky because of Dr. Whisky’s notes on it and I have to say that, with regards to the nose on this one, I agree with him — Salt n’ peppa, limes and Thai food (specifically Ming Com – good Thai places will have this dish but most, likely will not have it on their menu).


Salted grapefruits.

Fantastic peat smoke backbone that many may miss.

On the mouth — Vanilla bean ice cream.

Saltier than most Campbeltown malts I’ve had – wow (I can almost feel the salt crystals growing on my teeth – an obvious exaggeration but, damn, this is salty stuff)!

Orange creamsicle minus the orange.

Thick-ooey-and-chewy whisky goodness.

Earthy smokey notes.

Finish — Looonnnggg, this whisky has staying power (the Dirk Diggler of  Scotch whisky).

In sum — Fun and bright.  A great summery aperitif whisky that is unlike most whiskies out there.  If you want something that’s not the hum-drum, seek this out.  This is also one of those great “hey, check this one out” type whisky like, perhaps, the Master of Malt 26yr Bowmore.  Not due to flavor, due to uniqueness.