This Kavalan Distillery Select is a bit of an outsider in the range, which is mostly known for its rich sherry (or other wine cask) bottlings in the Kavalan Solist series. This seems to be a more lightweight expression. First released in 2018 (without a number), it was re-packaged and renamed as Distillery Select No.1 once they introduced No.2.
The core proposition of this bottling is still vague. The name Distillery Select suggests some kind of special selection, but the price makes it an entry-level expression. The low ABV doesn’t really indicate a premium release either. They say the spirit is aged in qualitative casks, mainly sherry but no further indications. Overall a little ambiguous, but we’ll see how it performs.
Kavalan Distillery Select No.1 (40%, OB +/- 2022)
Nose: interestingly different from what I expected. Sour hints of yellow plums, pineapples and mango. Also tart fruit jam on Frisian sugar bread, subtle floral honey and beeswax. Then a little vanilla appears, and a light hint of coconut cream. A subtle coppery / metallic note as well. Quite tropical and inviting.
Mouth: quite weak now, with a thin body. There’s still a nice fruitiness of pineapple, peach and tart apple, but it struggles to express itself. Then sugary cereals, honey sweetness and fresh oak spice come out. At times it almost feels like a blended whisky. Eucalyptus and drying nutmeg in the end.
Finish: short and fairly dry. Balancing fruits with bourbonny wood spice.
A nice recipe but clearly a young whisky, sliding down further by the incredibly low ABV. I suppose this is aimed at hot climate markets, perhaps in cocktails or served on the rocks. As a sipping whisky it lacks punch, which is a shame considering the nice fruity aromas. I much prefer the Kavalan Triple Sherry Cask but that’s more expensive (in most markets). Available from The Whisky Exchange or Master of Malt for instance.