Taiwanese single malt whisky
40% ABV, £55 for 70cl
What they say:
Kavalan Concertmaster Single Malt Whisky Using Portuguese ruby, tawny and vintage Port wine casks as the main flavour, Kavalan Concertmaster single malt whisky is the first matured in specially selected American oak cask and then finished in port barriques. The marrying in the barriques mellows the flavours and adds indefinable smoothness to the whisky. It is rich bodied with natural sweetness and complexity.
Colour: pleasant brownish red
Nose: tropical fruitiness with honey, vanilla, coconut and candy floss
Palate: rich bodied with natural sweetness and complexity
What I say:
Having previously sampled the Kavalan Solist Vinho Barrique I opted for the Port Cask finish expression from their ‘staple’ Kavalan series for my next taste adventure with Kavalan’s award-winning ranges of Taiwanese whisky.
Russet dark copper and amber gold (14/20), slow and thick tears leave medium trails
Jammy red fruits and a sherbet fruity fizz of oranges and cherries sprang to mind initially, further aroma’s of sweet tropical fruits including mango, tangerine and tamarind, a little cereal barley malt and grist before sweet strawberry syrup, strawberry tart pastries, cherry lips sweeties, blackberry, raspberry, cherry blossoms, a slightly floral and fragrant vanilla and brown sugar
Warm and luxuriously mouth-filling, this has an excellent texture like melting chocolate, jammy fruits of the forest; blackberry, raspberry, strawberry fade into tropical tangerine, mango and tamarind, but smoothly and full of subtletly, some cereal barley malt, vanilla essence and a sprinkling of cinnamon arrive as the sweetness subsides and finally toffee, caramel and brown sugar are revealed as the oak of the casks announce their influence
Medium – long toffee and tempered tropical fruit sweetness, my only criticism is the 40% ABV is revealed by a thinness in the finish, though in some ways this is welcoming as the barrage of fruits subside
A very pleasing and tactile whisky, great to nose and swirl around the palate, perhaps a little low in ABV and some youthfulness are hinted at, less sweet on the palate than the nose would suggest but still thick and syrupy balanced by a little spice and citric zestiness. Another grand example from Kavalan, compared to other (unpeated) Port-Cask finished whiskies we have sampled this is easily on par with the likes of Glenmorangie Quinta Ruban and Glencadam 12 Years Old Port Wood Finish and superior to the Glen Moray Classic Port Cask Finish