This has a seductive nose of mango, kiwi, dried tropical fruits, rich oak, silky caramels, and milk chocolate-covered cranberries. The dynamics of this cask-strength whisky play out handsomely, with an opening gambit of warm berry fruits, peaking with emphatic spices, and ending with a reflective phase of butter toffee, mocha, and Ovaltine. A dash of water encourages clove-studded orange flavors and preserves the long spicy finish. (JM, Summer 2018)
After so much time spent merely reading about the great single malt whiskies from Taiwan's Kavalan distillery, we can finally get our hands on them here in the states! Kavalan uses a process not unlike Lagavulin's for their Vinho Barrique expression, called STR: shave, toast, and re-char. In the case of Kavalan, they take old wine casks from Portugal and re-season them to create a dark, heavily-oaked, intense flavor of whisky. It couldn't be further from all the quarter-cask, super-oaked craft stuff we see here in the U.S. This is like a more concentrated version of Macallan Fine Oak that has way more intensity. It's actually quite spectacular, especially with the extra proof to balance the spice. It's the humid conditions of Kavalan's warehouse that allows the maturation to take place much faster. This is real deal whisky from the next big thing. Winner of Whisky Magazine's Best Whisky in the World 2015.
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