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Tasting Kavalan “King Car”

17 February 2011 1,369 views Written by: Gal Granov

Tasting four Kavalan expressions in the past months (Kavalan,Concert Master, Single Cask ‘Solist’ Ex-bourbon, and Single Cask ‘Solist’ Ex-sherry ) left me wanting more. i was utterly impressed with the sheer quality, and innovative spirit of Kavalan and their head distiller Ian Chang. I was hoping more new expressions will be released, and having heard some rumours about two new expressions in the making, i eagerly waited for an opportunity to sample those.kav_small

And time has come, two new expressions were introduced, the first “King Car” named after the company who owns the "Kavalan” distillery, and the second named “Vinho”, which is equally exciting.

“King Car” is essentially a vatting of 8 separate types of wood casks (including ex-bourbon, ex-sherry, and some others as well). This expression as opposed to the basic “Kavalan” and “concert master” is non chill filtered.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
*****
Kavalan ,“King Car” , 46% ABV , NAS, Not yet available in Europe/USA

99.12.08 0005

Nose: Starts off with the familiar “Kavalanish” notes ; Tropical fruit sweetness : bananas, Papaya, Melon , Vanilla, Oak. You can also find hints of Eucalyptus, and chocolate.

Palate:  Sweet, sort of ‘Bourbony’ ,with the tropical fruits playing first fiddle here : banana-vanilla cream,Crème brûlée

oak, and also some bitter espresso , to balance all this sweetness. Yummy, mouth coating, and lovely balance.

Finish : Spices, bitter oak and  espresso.

Bottom line:

This is a lovely whisky, well balanced, with the nice “kavalanish” tropical touches, as well the balancing bitterness of the wood, and espresso notes. Great mouth feel, and complexity. It’s clear Kavalan have chosen great casks for the vatting, and all the different types of casks well integrated to create further complexity and richness of flavours and aromas. Well done, Ian! . The only problem with thos excellent Kavalans is that they are not to be found anywhere.Neither in the USA, nor in the EU. I guess one can only get those if he visits the far east. I know most of the produce is aimed at Taiwan / China, but i wish more whisky lovers could enjoy this lovely whisky (and the other expressions). Let’s hope those become more widely available soon.

Additional tasting notes and more information about this expression can be found at the Whisky for everyone Blog.

 

Score : 86/100

Slainte!

Sincere thanks to Ian C. for the official sample.

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  • http://twitter.com/sgilboa Shai Gilboa

    With all the warm things you always say about Kavalan, I really got to try then as well.
    Too bad you can’t get them anywhere.

    Nice post!

    • http://www.whiskyisrael.co.il Gal(WhiskyIsrael)

      Indeed. i was asking where one can get a bottle but nothing yet…
      you will get to taste it on the next summit. (from my wee bottles).

  • Ian Chang

    Hi Gal,

    It’s me, Ian. Thank you very much for your review and kind words. I really appreciate it, mate!

    We get emails and messages from American and European consumers all the time wondering when Kavalan will be available in North America and also Europe. We are, of course, thrilled to hear about this wonderful news and we are also preparing and doing all the necessary works to have either Kavalan or King Car single malt whisky available in both the continents. Therefore, all I can say right now to all Kavalan supporters is that “Please bear with us for a while, and we thank you all for your patience”!

    Cheers Gal once again!

    Kindest regards
    Ian

    • http://www.whiskyisrael.co.il Gal(WhiskyIsrael)

      Ian, Thanks for the update.
      I am sure when it’s available in those markets, it’s going to be selling like hot buns ;)
      Keep on the good work.
      G.

  • Nanouk

    I was lucky enough to be in Taiwan back Februari 2010 and could only bring one bottle home. I’m very stingy about it and won’t share it with any one because it’s sooooo good. But now the bottle is almost empty and can’t wait for it to be sold in Europe (Netherlands).

    • http://www.whiskyisrael.co.il Gal(WhiskyIsrael)

      Nanouk

      which of the Kavalans have u tried besides this? all are lovely

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