Review: Kavalan Single Malt Taiwanese Whisky / by Jason Hambrey

100% Malted Barley
Distiller Kavalan (Yuanshan, Taiwan)

This is the base single malt for the terrific distillery in Taiwan, Kavalan. Taiwan, in fact, is one of the big whisky markets in the world with many single malts (and Canadian whiskies) being exclusively sold there.

Review (2016)

  • Batch: N/A

  • Bottling Code: N/A

  • Bottling Date: ~2015

A nice nose – with a few good wafts of bourbon! Light hay, caramel, prunes, very light dates, toffee, dried apricot, and a bit creamy…The palate has a nice body with a solid vanilla backbone and a touch of oak on the finish. Brown sugar, black cherry, fresh baking bread, with light creamy toffee on the finish with some clove, dried apricot, and very light oak and tannins.

Yes, “smooth”…and very nice…easy to drink, but not exceedingly interesting. However, this is exactly what I would want as the flagship malt for my distillery…so hat’s off to Kavalan. There isn’t anything wrong with it, it’s just not that interesting. Easy and enjoyable.

Recommended (81% of whiskies I’ve reviewed to date get this recommendation or higher).

Value: Low. At least in North America, this stuff is pretty expensive, often above $100 in Canada. I’m not inclined to pay that for this.