Asian Delights – Kavalan Classic 40%

The Whisky Ladies of Mumbai began our exploration of Kavalan Taiwanese whiskies in 2016, where we sampled an open bottle of the Concertmaster Port Cask Finish 40%… we then cranked it up several notches with the Solist Sherry cask S1001200358 57.8%. It was so memorable with its concentrated robust flavours that we decided to track down another bottle (this time from cask S090102020 57.1%) and share it in our “Ladies Choice” evening with our Bombay Malt & Cigar gents.

Fast forward and we found ourselves in 2019 checking out the “Classic“… here is what we thought…

Kavalan Classic 40%

  • Nose – Spruce, pine, fresh balsa, sweet with a hint of nuts, very comforting on the nose, loads of fruit
  • Palate – Had some character, spice, nice and dry, tannic, after some time a sugar syrup
  • Finish – Finally a proper finish!

Sweet on the nose, spice on the palate… a good entry level to the brand, bottled in 2016. It was opened a few months earlier and you can see from the photo that after our tasting, there wasn’t much left! However we certainly felt we had a good enough impression of a lively tasty dram.

Talk turned to how nice it is to find value for money… This particular bottle was purchased in Germany, however can also be found at The Whisky Exchange for  £54.45.

For those curious to check out more Kavalan’s tasted over the years, pop over to the Asian whiskies page.

Here’s a few more whiskies we enjoyed in our Asian Delights:

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Whisky Live Singapore – King Kavalan

Kavalan has been sweeping global awards – garnering top World Whiskies Awards,  dominated the Malt Maniacs Annual Awards 2016 and many more.

So what did I have the pleasure of perusing in Singapore?


Kavalan Classic Single Malt 40%

  • Light, fresh nose, smooth on the palate with a slightly sour bitter quality
  • Was like sipping a blend of bourbon, sherry and wine


Kavalan Concertmaster 40%

  • What can I say about this one? Tried it many times… nothing wrong but also nothing exceptional… reminded me that while pleasant, simply doesn’t float my boat whisky wise
  • Ex-bourbon cask, matured for 2-3 years with a Port finish


Kavalan ex-Bourbon Oak 46%

  • Nose was sweet honey delight, bright, uncomplicated
  • While clearly not sophisticated, I was surprised how much I enjoyed the ‘watered down’ version… having previously only been exposed to the ex-Bourbon’s cask strength cousin


Kavalan Sherry Oak 46%

  • Lots of sherry berry nose, round soft on the palate with a bitter, dry finish that stays
  • Surprisingly enjoyable, nice long finish – much more than anticipated


Kavalan Solist ex-Bourbon B100924087A Bottle 008/200 59.4%

  • Sweet and sassy on the nose, tipping to the softer bourbon notes, palate has substance and the finish is well rounded


Kavalan Solist Sherry Cask S1001290048 Bottle 102/489 57.8%

  • Familiar territory with this one! Rich, sherry, berry, bursting with flavours, lots of liquorice in this one with a great big sweeping finish


Kavalan Solist Fino Sherry Cask FI1007070264 Bottle 441/575 57%

  • I wanted to go “Wow!” but found this almost too dry and bitter for my taste, an interesting experiment and quite distinctive but not an easy dram


Kavalan Solist Vinho Barrique W120727102A Bottle 213/231 57.1%

  • Much more my style – some of the rich fruity elements yet more subtle than the sherry, a nice spice, dash of nuts, even a puff of smoke


There is little doubt that in many circles Kavalan is indeed ‘King’ of whiskies at the moment. Even better – it remains accessible and even in the more affordable category versus others who have reached such heights.

Related Kavalan posts:

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