Kavalan Sherry Oak
Taiwanese distillery Kavalan has been receiving lots of praise ever since they rose to prominence in 2010 after a (by now) legendary blind tasting. Their Solists have won countless awards since. But they also have a range of more affordable whiskies, of which the Kavalan Sherry Oak is one. The Sherry Oak is basically the Kavalan Solist Sherry, but diluted with Kavalan spring water to 46 percent.
Kavalan Sherry Oak (46%, OB)
Nose: Heavy sherry influence. Has a savory side. Salty and soy sauce. A fair amount of wet or damp oak. The sweetness now comes through with dried dates, prunes and raisins.
Taste: Sweet and oily. Cherry syrup. Dried forest fruits. But also pepper, truffles and chocolate. Some tobacco as well. Tastes a bit young.
Finish: Bitter, dark chocolate and sweet red fruits. Medium to long.
I’ve heard a lot of people rave about the matureness this whisky shows, and although it is very rich in flavour, I doubt I would mistake this for an older sherry whisky. Very nice though and certainly not a whisky I’d ever turn down.
Thijs is a spirits writer and accredited liquorist from The Netherlands. He runs the blog Words of Whisky and contributes to a number of Dutch and international publications.