Kavalan Sherry Cask (Southern California Artisanal Group)
Single Malt — Taiwan
Reviewed July 8, 2022
In short, a wonderfully complex fruity whisky with uniques medicinal overtones that blow you mind. So I’ve been saving this one. Bought it a few months ago and decided that it break it open when on vacation at my favourite spot, the Drakensberg, Kwa-Zulu Natal at the foot of The Amphitheater Mountain. Before jumping in my research found the interesting piece of information about Kavalan whisky from thewhiskyshelf.com - “Taiwan is certainly an interesting place to make whiskey given its location near the equator. In general, it’s intensely hot and humid for over half the year, creating an environment for the oak and whiskey to interact that’s different than it is in Scotland or even Japan. The more hot and humid climate also accelerates the aging process, allowing Kavalan to release younger whiskeys. This plays into Kavalan’s favor given how relatively young the distillery is. Most of the Kavalan Single Casks I’ve seen are in the 5-8 year range, making this 10 year old Kavalan Sherry Single Cask Whiskey unique.” Now onto my tasting notes. This whisky looks unique and special. It’s dark and moody liquid sets the tones that you’re in for something different. The nose is full is massive sherry notes, no surprises considering the wonderfully dark tones in this liquid. The Oloroso Casks have Taste is unmistakably sherry sweet in the first sip with unique herbal after tones. It reminds me of liquorice in places. It’s rich, full bodied and a bit of a handful. No need to rush this one down the hatch, it almost forces you to enjoy it over time. After a few sips the sherry-ness becomes less distracting and the whiskies medicinal qualities come through. After each sip you find yourself basking in herbal energy. Yes is definitely sherry, the herbal infusion is what kept me coming back for each sip. Then, the dram just keeps giving, the next step, the herbal base gives rise to plums, nuts, and spice. I’ve never enjoyed a whisky before whose flavour profile opens up over time revealing new notes, tones and profiles. One the first sip I was drinking a full bodied sweet sherry cask whisky, now, a few sips in, I’m enjoying a wonderfully spicy and herbal whisky with a fruit and nut base.