The wait is over. You are now allowed to open the 14th door in your Drinks by the Dram’s Whisky Advent Calendar! Inside you’ll find a whisky from Taiwan, I…
Like the Three Wise Men, only much tastier, this whisky comes from the east. Taiwan to be specific. It could only be. . . .
Kavalan, and Kavalan Single Malt Whisky to be specific!
Since it was founded in 2005, Kavalan has won awards left, right and centre including the International Wine & Spirit Competition Worldwide Whisky Trophy in 2017 and the International Spirits Challenge Trophy in 2016 and 2017.
And no wonder because the late, great Jim Swan, distiller and blender extraordinaire, was involved at every stage in Kavalan’s development (more on that later). The sub-tropical climate in Taiwan means that the spirit matures four times faster than in Scotland and it loses twice as much to the angels’ share. The climate, the fruity new make and the use of sherry and bourbon casks give the whisky its signature style which is rich, sweet and crowd-pleasing.
It’s no boutique operation; the distillery produces around five million litres of spirit per year. Kavalan is owned by an enormous Taiwanese conglomerate, King Car, which also makes Taiwan’s most popular coffee brand, Mr. Brown (that’s a great fact to share with the family at Christmas).
To tell us more, we spoke with Jim Swan’s protege, Ian Chang, master blender and distiller at Kavalan.