Taiwan

Review: Canadian Rockies 10 Year Old Canadian Whisky by Jason Hambrey

ABV
40%
Aging
10 yrs
Recipe
N/A
Producer Highwood (High River, Alberta)

This whisky is another whisky produced by the Canadian Rockies company, which also boasts a terrific 21 Year Old. This is the younger brother.


Review (2017)

  • Batch: N/A

  • Bottling Code: N/A

  • Bottling Date: ~2013

Sweet caramel, apple, lots of apple seed, coconut, maple, freshly made polenta, and even a bit of worn leather. This, without a question, has the characteristics revealing that it is on its way towards becoming one of the great long aged Canadian corn whiskies like Highwood Ninety 20 or Canadian Rockies 21. The palate is easy, sweet, and quite vibrant in its corn character – a bit of nutmeg and clove on the finish too, with light bitterness. The finish has sweet fresh corn on the cob, vanilla, fresh parmesan, and light clove and a touch of cinnamon. Since my reference is the older aged corn whiskies, I can’t help but comparing them – this is more reminiscent of fresh sweet corn, and brighter fruit – the older stuff has more dried fruit, leather, and of course oak. But this has a nice character, and it is remarkably easy to drink. It would do fine as an everyday whisky.

Value: N/A (Taiwan only). But a decent whisky, and given the prices of other Canadian Rockies products, I expect it’s decent.


Review: Kavalan Podium Single Malt Taiwanese Whisky by Jason Hambrey

ABV
46%
Aging
Virgin Oak and Re-fill Casks
Recipe
100% Malted Barley
Distiller Kavalan (Yuanshan, Taiwan)

I haven't been able to find this one in Canada, but it is available readily in other markets, coming in at a bit of a higher price (though not significantly) than the base expresssions. If you want a Kavalan - it's a good place to start.


Review (2016)

  • Batch: N/A

  • Bottling Code: N/A

  • Bottling Date: ~2015

Candied nuts galore – marzipan and praline – a brilliant and rich nose. Also dried mango, apricot, caramel, vanilla, oak, custard and dried banana. The palate comes through with a good dose of vanilla, very light oak, banana cream pie, plums, coconut, and, about ¾ of the way through the palate, I find brilliant light and fresh sweet creaminess – like vanilla pudding - which I love. The finish has oak, that dried fruit, and still that vanilla pudding. It reminds me of a better, and more refined, version of the standard Kavalan.

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

Value: Low. I like the stuff, but it can be fairly expensive (in my case, around $150-180). The $80 range would be about right for this to shift it to the average category, for me.


Review: Kavalan Single Malt Taiwanese Whisky by Jason Hambrey

ABV
40%
Aging
N/A
Recipe
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.