Single malt whisky - tasting notes

20 Jun 2013

Kavalan Solist Vinho Barrique

Tasting notes by Ruben Luyten - Posted in * World

Kavalan is whisky from the Taiwanese King Car Company. With high temperatures and high humidity, they are dealing with a fast forward maturation similar to that of Indian distilleries.

The Kavalan Solist Vinho Barrique was matured in American oak casks, first charred, then air-dried for two years, seasoned with (Portuguese?) red and white wine, then re-charred, and eventually filled with spirit. It is around 4 years old.


Kavalan Vinho BarriqueKavalan Solist ‘Vinho Barrique’
(59,2%, OB 2012, W080225015)

Nose: very aromatic and woody but in a nice way. Lots of cedar and sandalwood, generously polished. Coming close to some Japanese malts in that respect, and some Eastern spices complete this (cardamom, cinnamon). Cherry and plum liqueur, strawberries and Hero Cassis as they love in Holland. Hazelnuts with caramel sweetness. Mouth: very punchy. There’s a nice fruitiness again (slightly darker now, with blackberries and black cherries), but they’re overpowered with spices and oak tannins. Really intense, but slightly harsh and alcoholic as well. Water is needed and makes is rounder while retaining its flavours. Leather and some toasted hints. Finish: medium long, sweet and spicy. Drying on dark chocolate.

A very rewarding dram. If you like sherried Japanese malts (Karuizawa or Yamazaki), you will like this as well. Too bad for the slight harshness on the palate. Thanks for the sample, Angelo and Joeri.

Score: 88/100

Kavalan Solist Vinho Barrique 4 Ruben Luyten 2013-06-20
  • pb

    this just won the best whiskey of the year award…i’m a bit surprised though. It’s good…but, there seem be others that are better

  • WhiskyNotes

    In this case ‘Best whisky of the year’ means: ‘Best whisky of those that paid to participate in our contest’. Often there is a focus on younger whisky from producers that are still working hard to gain some interest.



October 2015
« Sep    

  • Tony: The Brora at 1500 Euros seems to recognise that last years similarly priced just hasn't sold, so no increase there (and even a slight drop). Then agai
  • kallaskander: Hi there, I remember that Bacardi said all the Last Great Malts would carry an age statement. Which is true. I thought they promised they would all b
  • WhiskyNotes: It looks like this will not be part of the official selection this year. Maybe an upcoming standalone release.

Coming up

  • Bunnahabhain 1987 (Maltbarn)
  • Glen Garioch 1993 (Maltbarn)
  • Royal Brackla 16 Year Old
  • Teeling 26yo Vintage Reserve
  • Kavalan Podium

1894 notes by Ruben

WhiskyNotes - Ruben LuytenThis blog is my personal collection of impressions, written while searching for the ultimate single malt whisky.