Taiwan — 46% – 200ml sample (thanks to Ian Chang of Kavalan for the sample and patience with the post)
Last November I had the good opportunity to taste Kavalan King Car Whisky bottled at 40%ABV. Kavalan is single malt whisky from Taiwan. Yes, you heard me correctly. What’s more, they’re producing some top notch whisky.
As excited as I was to taste this whisky for the first time, I have a strange prejudice against whiskies that are bottled at the minimum 40% ABV so I was a bit apprehensive. However, I was pleasantly surprised. What’s more is this whisky is also now bottled at 46% and non-chill filtered.
Before we get to the tasting, I thought I should direct you to images of Kavalan’s beautiful faciliety. Just surf the web (or, just look below) and you’ll find some truly stunning pictures of their distillery:
Picture above in the image on the right hand side is Ian Chang admiring the casks in his warehouse. If I could, I’d bottle one of those casks myself. I really am a fan of the Kavalan line. Ok, enough daydreaming. On to the tasting…
On the nose — Mouthwateringly fruity – think mangos and tangerine, bananas and honey dew melon.
Honey and sugared lemons.
Freshly ground coffee (just like with the 40%ABV version).
Lots of malt, a bit floral and a touch salty.
Here’s one that brings back memories from weekends at my grandparent’s house…Musty Afghans that have been stored in laminated oak cabinets (I’m referring to the blanket-type Afghans, not the people. This is not a slur against the Afghani people or the Afghan Whigs).
On the mouth — Nice mouthful yet nowhere near as fruity and tropical as the nose lead me to believe.
Highly vegetal and more of the salt I detected earlier.
Unsweetened lemon chews (if that makes sense).
Finish — Short but with a bit of a lemony zing to it.
In sum — The wonderfully fruity nose was very promising and got me in the mood for warmer times. The salty, more vegetal flavor of this whisky took me a bit off guard which could be a good thing. Yes, I think it was a good thing. The finish was just a bit to short for me. I wanted it to stay with me longer. Maybe that was purposeful. It just made me want to sniff and taste more!
Gal of Whisky Israel also reviewed this one recently and seemed to like it quite a bit.
Karen & Matt of Whisky For Everyone agrees, this is a fine whisky.