Kavalan Solist Sherry Cask (for LMdW)
This puppy scored big during the last Malt Maniac Awards. It wasn’t actually the Kavalan that won the overall competition (that one scored an average of 92), but it was one of only four whiskies to receive a gold medal. This particular Kavalan received high praise (average of 91 points) with one of the Maniacs even scoring it 96 points. That is the stuff of legends! As luck would have it, one of my whisky friends was in possession of a bottle and was kind enough to include it in a recent sample swap. Thanks Sebastiaan!
Kavalan Solist Sherry Cask (57,8%, bottled for LMdW, C# S060821047)
Nose: My god, this is some heavy stuff. Extreme sherry aromas. We’ve got soy, a sort of cherry syrup, an assortment of red fruits, raspberries and plumbs. There is a hint of mint, followed by paint thinner and varnish. Also dark chocolate and a barely noticeable saltiness.
Taste: Some fruit again with blackberries and plumbs. There something nutty here, and again a saltiness. The palate has a slight dryness. There is also the darker, heavier sherry with dark chocolate, cloves and coffeepowder. It is very accessible and water really isn’t needed.
Finish: Slightly bitter with tobacco leaves and cocoa.
This is one hell of a sherry monster. It is enjoyable, very good. But something extreme like this will have a very hard time scoring 90+ with me. The stuff I find really good, or great even, tends to be a bit more subtle.
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.