2008 Kavalan "Solist - K&L Exclusive" Sherry Cask Single Barrel Cask Strength Single Malt Taiwanese Whisky (750ml) SKU #1434249

Price: $209.99

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Tasting Notes

The spectacular Kavalan Sherry Cask "Solist" has become harder and harder to get. The importer used to bring samples by once or twice a year and we'd get to pick one and pray it showed up, but now they have a number of other flavors they're focusing on and the incredibly delicious Sherry Cask, their most highly regarded regular release, has become extremely limited. That's why we were absolutely flabbergasted to find that an entire cask of Solist Sherry (Solist is the international name for the cask strength single barrels and the name does not appear on the label) had been sitting in the importer’s warehouse for several years. We got our hands on a sample and fell in love. This wild cask of Kavalan was distilled way back in 2008 and bottled almost five years ago. It's been waiting in the wings while our single barrels have come and gone. We're not sure if this cask was partially sold into other markets, but we bought all 40 cases left. While that might seem like a lot, we typically get 80+ out of a sherry butt. Due to the incredible scarcity and allocated nature of this product, we don't expect it to last very long. The style here is sweeter and rounder than some of the hardcore, tannic versions we've had in the past. Deep fruit compote, bold exotic spices and roasted hazelnuts coupled with a rich chewy texture that's become the hallmark of this exceptional bottling.

Staff Reviews

  • Jackson Lee
    By: Jackson Lee
    K&L Staff Member
    Having just come back from Vietnam with a short layover in Taipei, Taiwan, nosing this in the glass reminds me of being back. There’s a strong salinity in the nose closely followed by Chinese five spice, star anise, warm apple sauce, and tootsie rolls with subtle hints of plum; the nose continues to evolve in the glass. The palate is sweet with a candied umeshu plum mixed with coriander seed, star anise, milk chocolate. It’s not surprising to get such bold aromas and flavors after experiencing some of that weather and heat first hand that contributes to the interaction between the barrel and distillate. The finish is long and elegant, slight notes of pencil shavings accompany a nice, subtle fruitiness that’s reminiscent of an Asian pear with cinnamon.
  • Kaj Stromer
    By: Kaj Stromer
    K&L Staff Member
    This is easily one of the most luxurious and flat-out delicious spirits I’ve tasted in 2019. Though it is a seminal single malt whisky, I’d argue that it transcends categorization. The level of complexity within the spirit leads you down so many paths, you truly get lost in its ability to transport the taster. The effect of the sherry cask is profound here. To pour it in the glass you are immediately absorbed by calming notes of ocean salinity, roasted nuts, dried herbs, Asian spice box, ripe apple compote, all anchored by the classic aroma and flavor of a properly aged whisky. This is a must-have for any serious collector of whisky.
  • Keith Mabry
    By: Keith Mabry
    K&L Staff Member
    Fans of sherry-profiled malted whiskey should look no further. This is one of the richest but not over-the-top examples I have tasted in years. Gorgeous profile of toasted spelt, sultanas and allspice; this is long and full on the palate. The cask strength is significant but nothing a few drops of water won't round out. This is a heart-warming style. Consider me a fan!
  • Jeffrey Jones
    By: Jeffrey Jones
    K&L Staff Member
    When I see Kavalan, at first I always think: this will be both a high quality and elegant whiskey. This offering is no exception, and is a wonderful and tasty treat. The nose has a subtle dried fruit quality. In the mouth it is plush. with a velvet-like mouthfeel. It is complex, with dried fruit and nut flavors that blend well together. There is a long finish. When I added some water it made the spirit a little sweeter.
  • Will Blakely
    By: Will Blakely
    K&L Staff Member
    The amount of sherry flavor the people at Kavalan manage to impart to their whisky outright astonishes me. Forgive the pun, but frankly, it's nuts. Salted nuts and caramel corn explode across the palate with the power and dynamism that Kavalan consistently over-delivers. The wild spice of their unique malt profile shines through that intense and savory sherry, bringing with it banana, peach compote, and rich barley syrup. If you like sherried whiskey, this is a no-brainer. Even if sherry normally gives you pause, this is the kind of cask strength malt you don't want to miss.


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