Finally a chance to review a Taiwanese offering, from the very prestigious and ever more well known King Car Distillery – the Kavalan Sherry Oak. When I tasted this, I was almost certain it was cask strength..so much so that I confused it with a Kavalan Solist Sherry matured release, as the notes seemed to match mine and the price tag seemed feasible. I was joyfully mistaken, meaning the price was well below what I thought it was, and this release is not limited, meaning that I can easily get another bottle!
It turns out my ignorance wasn’t wholly misplaced, as I’ve read several times that this is in fact the very same Soloist Sherry Cask, but watered down with Kavalan Spring water to bottling strength, so hooray for that! It’s a great dram.
Appearance: Rich burnt caramel, like a mix of honey and marmite.
Aroma: Oranges, cranberries and cloves. Green wood, soaked in black cherries and sherry.
Taste: Oak, molasses, burnt raisins with a red wine and spicy finish.
Mouthfeel: Dry, quick to disappear, peppery on the tongue. I felt like a larger dram was needed to hold onto the flavours, that didn’t linger long enough.
Overall: As I mentioned before, it feels stronger in the mouth than it is, more like it’s older cask strength brother (57.8%) than the 46% printed on the bottle. This is probably due to the pepperiness that I felt came across each taste, but either way the flavours pass quickly so you need to pay attention! It’s hard to really savour what’s going on in the mouth, so I felt this whisky was not a last whisky of the night type drop, but flavoursome none the less. Even though it’s cheaper than the Soloist Sherry Cask, it’s still definitely in the more pricey range, so my advice would be to look for the lightning deal or hold out until you’re feeling flush, but I’m chuffed I got to taste it.
Real Dram Factor: 7.0
Source: A friendly gift sample bottle from the friendly folks at Kavalan.
More Information: King Car Distillery – Taiwan