Tasting Kavalan Solist Single Cask Strength Sherry Cask

After tasting the two ‘basic’ Kavalans, we’re approaching the higher end expressions. Single Cask, Cask strength and no colouring or chill filtration. The real deal. The first expression that i am going to review will be the Sherry Cask. This nectar was aged for three years in an Ex-Sherry casks. Mind you, three years in Taiwanese time and the hot weather in their dunnage means that this spirit is about 8 years Scotch time. I am a real sherry head, and i like my sherry drams strong, No water added, and with an oomph. And boy was i up to a treat here with this baby! Starting with its colour : Wow. So dark , 3 years of age and looks amazingly appetizing.

but let’s start the dramming shall we?

Kavalan Solist Cask strength Sherry Cask, 58.7% ABV


Colour:Beautiful dark  Copper , almost mahogany. All natural, no colour added. Wow! I love this one already.

Nose : Big sherry. Starting with some balsamic sourness, then off to the big sherry party. Dried fruits galore (plums,prunes,sultanas) , quite alcoholic at over 57%…. Nuts topped with Marzipan and some Sugar dough. Very aromatic and deep. This feels much older than 3 years of age. Wow. I am liking this nose already!

Palate:  Big body, oily and very deep. the dried fruits are overwhelming, dipped in rich syrup of alcohol,sugar and Spice. on the second wave of sensations i am getting some coffee and cocoa bitterness, which is quite nice to balance out the syrupy sweet dark fruits.

Finish : Long, sweet, coffee , the dried fruit and syrup are also there for quite some time. very rewarding finish, with some oak at the very end. Nice stuff Mr. Chang!

Bottom line: This is a cracker of a dram. thick, powerful and masculine. reminds me of the Aberlour A’bunadh in some ways (Young, in your face sherry, natural) . A Sherry monster, from Taiwan. I want a bottle, sadly it’s so hard to come by.

This is by far the best and most enjoyable dram from Kavalan I’ve sampled. Sheer pleasure, much better than the previous two, and this one can look in the eyes of any Scotch sherried dram and not squint. It’s absolutely well done. Impressive stuff!

For the next two days, Josh of  the JSMWS and I will be sharing our thoughts on the Kavalan range.  While I’m not tasting these whiskies blindly, Josh and I will not be sharing our thoughts on these whiskies prior to our posting them.  Be sure to check out Josh’s notes on this whisky.


Again, many thanks to Ian of Kavalan for the generous official sample.

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