You can always count on Anchor Distilling to keep you inundated with a fresh supply of Asian whiskies. So after rolling out a handful of Nikka Whiskies from Japan, Anchor has set its sights on Taiwan.
Founded in just 2005, Kavalan became the first whisky distillery built in Taiwan. The warm sub-tropical climate helps the whiskies mature quickly, and the distillery uses many different types of wood to achieve specific flavor profiles. The result is a portfolio of whiskies characterized by fruit-forward flavors, with many bottled at cask strength.
Kavalan achieved nearly immediate success, beating out its Scottish counterparts in competitions and — in 2012 — being named one “Best New World Whisky” in Jim Murray’s Whisky Bible. So color us excited, as bottles of all seven Kavalan expressions begin arriving on store shelves this week. Now, let’s run through the lineup.
Kavalan Single Malt Whisky
The first whisky produced by the distillery, Kavalan Single Malt is clean and floral, with hints of honey and tropical fruits. The palate includes sweet mango, coconut and chocolate, with some spicy complexity and gentle warmth. 43% ABV / $89.99
Kavalan Concertmaster Whisky
Concertmaster is aged in Portuguese ruby, tawny and vintage port wine casks. The nose is full of tropical fruits, honey, vanilla and coconut. The palate is rich and full-bodied with natural sweetness and complexity. 43% ABV / $99.99
Kavalan King Car Conductor Whisky
King Car Conductor is one of the latest releases from Kavalan. It boasts aromas of papaya, banana and green apple, plus pleasant floral notes. Drink up for sweet, rich vanilla, banana and coconut, with a slight bitterness to balance things out. 46% ABV / $ $119.99
Kavalan Ex-Bourbon Cask Whisky
This limited-supply expression is a complex whisky with vanilla, fruit and coconut highlights. It’s matured in hand-selected American ex-bourbon casks and bottled at cask strength. On the nose you’ll find fresh tropical fruits, plus vanilla, coconut and spices. The palate is well balanced between sweet vanilla and oak spice. 55-60% ABV / $159.99
Kavalan Vinho Barrique Whisky
Vinho is fully matured in used American oak wine barrels that have been toasted and re-charred to bring out fruity vanilla notes. It’s bottled at cask strength. The nose is a rich fusion of vanilla and caramelized sugars with dark chocolate on top. Ripe melon, mango and kiwi blend with zesty citrus fruits and mild pepper. Drink up for clean and complex malts and a long aftertaste. 55-60% ABV / $159.99
Kavalan Sherry Cask Whisky
The Sherry Cask expression is matured in Oloroso sherry casks and also bottled at cask strength. It’s clean and complex with layers of dried fruit, nuttiness and spices, plus some hints of marzipan and vanilla. It’s rich and oily on the palate, with lingering dried fruits and spices, plus a hint of coffee. 55-60% ABV / $184.99
Kavalan Fino Sherry Cask Whisky
Fino Sherry Cask is matured in fino sherry butts, providing a mild sweetness. Another cask strength expression, this one features a nose of rich sherry, creamy toffee and chocolate. Fruit notes include mango, over-ripe citrus and a touch of green apples. The palate ranges from mild fudge to complex fruits and dry, smoked wood. 55-60% ABV / $424.99