An almost nine year old Kavalan, you don’t see many of those. Kavalan Distillery was founded in 2005, so you probably won’t find an expression much older than I’m reviewing today. It is the second bottling of Whiskynerds, a small Dutch indie bottler. Bram and Floris are the two guys at the helm and they are very experienced tasters with expensive (read high-quality) tastes. Whiskynerds is a passion project, and I doubt they’re expecting to get rich from it. Which is probably the best mindset we as consumers can hope for.
Regarding the selection process for this cask, this little tidbit on the Whiskynerds-website is certainly promising: “In the company of trusted friends the Whiskynerds pitted this fine Kavalan against some legendary single malts from the seventies, with the Taiwanese giant surprisingly coming out on top. Now it is your turn to be amazed.”
The Kavalan selected by Bram and Floris has matured in a so-called Peaty Cask. It means that it was a cask that has previously held peated spirit, and not that the spirit in the cask was peated. That wouldn’t even be possible, since they don’t produce any peated spirit at Kavalan.
Kavalan 2006/2015 Peaty Cask (53,2%, OB for Whiskynerds, C#R061106107)
Nose: This smells absolutely fantastic! One of those whiskies that I could just nose for hours. Wood smoke, but not very dominant. Lots of citric fruits, more of the tangerine and maybe grapefruit variety. A hint of almond (oil). There’s a touch of glue that stays in the background throughout. This reminds me more of an older Highland-style than it does of the modern Islay peaters. Taste: Fat and oily with hints of wood smoke, dusty oak and a good amount of black pepper. It’s still pretty smooth though. A bit chalky with some lemon and lime. Waxy too. Finish: Raspberry, plums and lemon with a fading wood smoke and some oakiness.
There’s not much left to say here other than that this is a great whisky. I sort of hoped that this would be disappointing, because at 185 euro it is pretty pricy, and I already have a very long wish list. Damn you, Whiskynerds! 😉