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.



November 2015
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Coming up

  • Lindores 2015 festival bottling
  • Amrut 2009 (cask #2701)
  • Glenlivet 1981 (#9468 for TWE)
  • Lagavulin Distillers Edition (2015)
  • Talisker Distillers Edition (2015)
  • Laphroaig 32 Year Old
  • Glen Grant 65yo 1950 cask #2747 for Wealth Solutions
  • Mortlach 1959/1960 (G&M Royal Wedding)

1931 notes by Ruben

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