Water of Life – Kavalan Solist
Whisky distilleries pop up in the most unexpected regions these days. Unfortunately, often, apart from the novelty factor truly great drops are not commonplace outside the confines of established whisky regions, however, every now and then you come across a gem that pumps out consistent quality expressions.
Case in point, Kavalan Distillery located in Taiwan.
While living in China I embarked a few times to Taiwan and instantly fell in love with the hustle and bustle of the night markets, the temples, Western comfort in terms of highly developed public transport and the local cuisine, however, a whisky distillery was not on my radar.
This has changed now as Kavalan Distillery has established itself as a veritable player in the worldwide whisky game.
After a recent tasting of some of Kavalan’s emissions at The Whisky Show, I was intrigued and having now been exposed to Kavalan’s Solist single cask release, which was matured in ex-bourbon cask at cask strength, I am a believer.
The swanky limited-edition bottling makes an aesthetically nice edition to any liquor shelf and upon uncorking the bottle, the waft of vanilla, sweet nuances reminiscent of cookies and fruity notes evoke instantly a Pavlovian response.
What materialise on the palate is an exquisitely calibrated melange of sweet- and spiciness, unveiling the whole spectrum with dominant waves of pepper coming and going, washing around a shore of apple and pear fruitiness, which is amplified by vanilla and tannins. Sounds delicious? It is. Simply beautiful.
Now, if you think the journey continues in the same manner you are mistaken as things are being taken up a notch: There is still vanilla, yet it is pervaded by bitter grapefruit notes and woody oak makes an appearance.
The Solist proves to be a vehicle that takes one on a wonderfully diverse journey paved with well-calibrated taste sensations that warrants a deep dive into Kavalan’s other expressions.