Here is the sixth in a series of ten Kavalan whisky reviews. You can read more background in part 1 but the TL;DR version is fellow local redditor /u/onewaybackpacking graciously brought back one of these cool Kavalan sampler packs back from Taiwan for me. Thus far in the series we have had:
Today we have finally made it into the Solists which I am a lot more excited about than other samples thus far, not only because the finishes look more interesting but the proof on these should be more in my wheelhouse. Today we will be covering the ex-Bourbon Cask which is a cask strength non chill filtered single malt aged in former Bourbon casks. As a brief reminder, I am mostly an American whiskey drinker who occasionally dabbles in malts so take that for what it is worth.
Taiwanese Single Malt Whisky; No Age Statement; 54% ABV
Nose: Smells like a very bourbony malt. The barley grain base is definitely there but it's backed up by a lot of the vanilla caramel notes from a traditional American whiskey. On top of all that there is the island fruitiness I keep getting in all of these.
Taste: Upfront there is a big wallop of those island fruits like coconut and papaya. The mid palate is sugary and rich with a lot of cereal raisin notes that I often find in sherry finished Scotch. The finish rounds off with some smoky charred oak and caramelized toffee which must be the bourbon cask influence. There is a bit of heat that wasn't present in any of the previous drams but that also brings more richness and viscosity.
Thoughts: This one is pretty good - it doesn't have any super unique stand out qualities but then again it doesn't have any major flaws. It's pretty solid overall even if it doesn't wow you. I am really starting to enjoy this island fruit vibe all of these have, it's complemented nicely by the malt grains and keeps making me think this is what a Fruity Loops Raisin Bran cereal collab would be like in whisky form.
Rating: B / B-
Note that price is not considered when assigning a rating.