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 managed to market an impressive array of specially finished bottlings, including port, sherry and bourbon, among others.
Since there is nothing that beats a good metaphor, in order to illustrate the natural harmony that must be part of a good whiskey, most of Kavalan's expressions refer to terms from classical music. This Solist is no exception to the rule and furthermore, it has been aged in sherry barrels and has been judiciously bottled using keg strength.
As the French singer-songwriter, actor, writer and diplomat Chahnour Vaghinag Aznavourian, better known to us as the Charles Aznavour :
Music is the language of passions, but not all passions are worthy of being set to music.
Deep brown and red of an authentic sherry cask, or even almost a rum.
Classic nose of sherry cask, but with an emphasis on fruit. We recognize the distillery through everything thanks to these same fruits and cereals that evoke the Concertmaster.
Fruity and magical palate. Sweet and dirty, orange, grapes, dates, toffee and spices. The whole still keeps the profile of the distillery.
Superb finish on oak, dark chocolate and espresso beans from Caffe Macs.
A masterpiece of complexity. There are many distilleries around the world that should be jealous.
Note: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★