I am part of a terrific Asian Whisky group that is full of some incredibly knowledgeable people. The same group that really got me up to speed and interested in Amrut, this group also are Kavalan fanatics. Not having it really available in Colorado I just couldn’t understand the excitement. Kavalan is amongst the relatively young distilleries that are making big noise in the whisky world by snatching up renowned awards consistently for their single cask line. Starting in 2006 out of Taiwan, the Solist group consists of bourbon, wine, and sherry cask expressions that are becoming increasingly difficult to find due to their popularity! Kavalan had me at Sherry and Cask Strength, so here are my thoughts.
The color of the Kavalan is insane – an incredibly deep amber, but on the surface a beautiful halo of light forms contrasting against the deep Sherry red. If the sight of the whisky doesn’t convince you of the sherry bomb sitting in your hand then the scent certainly should. On first nose I found a decadent dessert wine full of rich spices of clove and cinnamon, the scent of a cigar being hand rolled rises with shavings of dark chocolate, and taking over on the end is sweet cherries, tons of cherry. On the taste is a slight spice that is going to carry you through the entire taste, the spice is of cinnamon sugar. The sherry bomb is in full effect here. An explosion of chocolate covered cherries, cranberry sauce topped with mascarpone, the spice of Mexican hot chocolate awakens the taste buds, a syrup of sugar cane coats the inners of the mouth and allows the flavors to spread over the entire surface. One the finish is a burst of minty oak that shocks the mouth and then smoothens out into a sweet cherry cola that fizzles away.
I get it now, I want to be a freaking Kavalan fanatic too! The Solist Sherry Cask was without a doubt one of the best whiskies I’ve ever had. For my personal profile it has everything I want, cask strength, sherry, and a complex layering of spices and flavors. A masterfully crafted whisky by a top notch distillery – now to hunt down the other Solist expressions!