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So I'm a huge fan of kavalan and these solist cask have been special. Sadly, they're not really priced to sell, so at 350 I had to grab this one. Now I'm a few oz into this and so far it's been disappointing, but it's also been CLOSED off. I'm hoping now that we're a bit more opened up and we'll see.
Nose - ok so I used a copita which I generally don't do at this proof but it's been so closed off that I felt I should go here, seems maybe not a good call. I know this is a bad review but I get PX and oak. Leather is here, chocolates and overall it's a nice nose, but the alcohol is making is hard for me to get in there. Water really does help. This legit reminds me of a great glendronach px cask now, even get some light smoke, likely barrel, though this is pretty heave on that sweet, almost sickly so.
Taste - ok it's chocolate and sweet sweet sweet flavors. Alcohol is a bit too prevalent. There's a nice nugget effect here. OK water brings this down and brings out a nice really balanced PX forward sherry bomb. Yeah the oak is really here and gives us a savory element too.
OK so I don't understand at all why this was more expensive than the other casks in this collection. It's really nicely made as a px bomb. But it's lacking for me to give this a really high score.
So I'm struggling on score so I decided to go to my shelve to see if I could help myself. Glendronach batch 8 and 15 year are my best comps as they are mostly or heavy on the px and well all 3 of these are completely different whiskies. So the batch 8 I scored 2 stars and this blows that away. The 15 year I over rated likely due to how excited I was with the price to quality but it's dang good. The kavalan has that older whisky thing up front, that refined oak and richness of years of age, sure it cheated with sub tropic temps and climate but it got there. The glendronach 15 comes off almost young and cheap up front, but then on the finish the 15 explodes, it's richer, it's more complex, it's bringing breadth to offset some lack of depth if you will. So the last test was to try a drop of 18 year glendronach to just square myself, a 23-24 year example.
OK so the kavalan just punches through all of these with the rich up front flavor, it blows them out of the water. Not even CLOSE. BUT....the finish isn't even as good as the 15 year and it's far from the 18. The kavalan is all up front on the front of the tongue and it is exceptional there, but it doesn't hit other sensory areas. These other drams they really take off all over the tongue. It's weird.
So dang, score? I started out at a 3.0 off the first taste. I then debated a 2.75, but then after some time I went back to a 3.75. But I'm going close to a 4.0 now.... So yeah I'm close it a 4.0. There's something about that intense power of this and the depth of the up front flavor and while the finish isn't epic as those others, it's really good. OK....final score 3.75.
After letting it breath. It really opens up. I honestly thought I might have wasted money from my first taste. After coming back to it, a lot of flavors popped that I didn’t get before. The PX sherry shines through.