Kavalan Distillery, Yuanshan, Yilan County, Taiwan.
I end the year with my best World Whiskey of 2014, the Taiwanese stellar Kavalan Solist Sherry Cask Strength.
The Kavalan distillery dates from 2005, and thanks to master blender de Penderyn, Jim Swan, they were producing their first batch of new make barely a year later. As early as 2009, the distillery was able to market an impressive array of special-finish bottlings, including port, sherry and bourbon, among others.
As there is nothing that beats a good metaphor, to illustrate the natural harmony that must be part of a good whiskey, most of Kavalan's expressions refer to terms of classical music. The present Solist is no exception, and it has been aged in sherry barrels and has been judiciously bottled with the strength of the barrel.
As the singer-songwriter, actor, writer and French diplomat Chahnour Vaghinag Aznavourian, better known to us as Charles Aznavour :
Music is the language of passions, but not all passions are worthy of being set to music.
Brown and deep red of an authentic sherry cask, or even almost a rum.
Classic nose of sherry cask, but with emphasis on fruits. We recognize the distillery through the whole thanks to these same fruits and cereals that evoke the Concertmaster.
Fruity and magical mouth. Sweet-dirty, orange, grapes, dates, toffee and spices. All still keeps the profile of the distillery.
Superb finish on oak, dark chocolate and espresso beans Caffe Macs.
A masterpiece of complexity. Many distilleries around the world should be jealous.
Note: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★