Kavalan “Ex-Bourbon Cask #75″ K&L Exclusive Cask Strength Single Barrel Taiwanese Single Malt Whisky (750ml) ( $149.99) Taiwan’s Kavalan distillery once faced an uphill battle, selling the quality of their precocious young single malt whisky to a world of skeptics. It didn’t take long, however, to sway the critics. When the Kavalan Vinho Barrique expression won “best in the world” at the 2015 World Whisky Awards the entire planet took notice and Kavalan’s reputation received an instant shot in the arm. Here at K&L we are lucky to have a close relationship to both the company and to the master distiller Ian Chang, who hosted our group in Taiwan back in 2014. Due to the close bond that was formed between K&L and Kavalan, we were allowed to select three single barrel casks to be bottled exclusively for our store; all three of which were ex-Bourbon barrels. Because of Taiwan’s subtropical climate and intense humidity, the whisky ages more rapidly and soaks up the flavor of each cask with intense concentration. In all three cases, the Bourbon flavor comes through on the whisky almost more than the single malt character. Barrel #75A is another beast of a whisky at 58.6% ABV, but it’s the richest of the three by a hair with subtle floral elements that dance atop the intense oak flavor. There’s more maltiness apparent on the palate than the others and there’s a tropical coconut note on the finish that comes from the sweetness of the oak. It still needs water, however, as the high proof masks much of the complexity when taken neat. It’s a whisky to unlock slowly and methodically.
K&L Wine Merchants
Phone: 877-KLWines (toll free 877-559-4637)
San Francisco, Redwood City, Hollywood CA
Source: Whisky Intelligence.