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Kavalan Single Malt Whisky

(70cl, 40%)

Kavalan Single Malt Whisky

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Kavalan Single Malt Bottling Note

King Car distillery is located in Yilan County, Taiwan, and the single malt whisky produced there is named after the indigenous people who originally inhabited this northeastern corner of the island: the Kavalan.

Although the distillery was only brought on stream in 2005, the warm sub-tropical climate means that the whisky effectively matures more quickly and an impressive range of whiskies are available (now finally in the UK too!). This Kavalan Single Malt Whisky, for example was awarded a Gold Medal at the 2011 International Wine & Spirits Competition.

Tasting Note by The Chaps at Master of Malt

Nose: Fragrant and tropical fruits with floral notes, vanilla and mango.

Palate: There's mango throughout, spicy barley, gentle oak and creamy richness.

Finish: A touch of allspice, vanilla and fragrant pear skin.

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Kavalan Single Malt Whisky Reviews

Very Enjoyable !!! Excellent option from a surprising producer.

How some people are trashing this beautiful whiskey is a mystery to me. Smooth as silk, vanilla, carmel and fruity. No sharp edges. Amazing that a newbie can produce this quality.

19th October 2020

An interesting taste of the East...

It’s quite floral, with strong hints of vanilla, and an interesting blend of citrus fruits. There is the presence of exotic spices, and it’s the latter where the jury is out. It’s drinkable...the alcohol isn’t harsh, or out of sync with the palate — so far so good — but if someone said this tastes like a jagermeister single malt blend, I wouldn’t dissent. It’s an unusual taste that may take some time to grow on me.

16th July 2020

Magic in a Bottle.

Kavalan Single Malt.
Absolutely wonderful when it touches the taste buds it erupts into a glorious symphony explosion of aroma and taste. What more can i say.
This was a gift from my boys in sweden. For Xmas 2018.

12th May 2020

Very Good

I had my first taste of Kavalan Concertmaster.
It was beautiful, smooth flowing with a wonderful aroma.

17th March 2019

Good for cooking with

Good for cooking with.
I got this as a Christmas present about three years ago.
Initially it tastes ok, nothing to write home about. The fact that I've had it three years and there's still some in the bottle probably tells you more than a thousand words of tasting notes.
It's ok for hot toddies and cooking.

30th January 2019

Easy to sip striaght

Fortunately bought this reduced to clear and with a £8 off 40 coupon otherwise might have felt a bit cheated.

29th January 2019

Great Whisky

The best non-Scotch Scotch I have ever had. If you really like Scotch, then you owe it to yourself to try Kavalan

4th October 2018

Simply put, this is one Whisky I look forward to having more of.

First, am struck by the creamy feel and full balanced taste. The fullness dips a bit in the middle, but begins and ends very well.
Nice caramel color, and excellent nose. I could have sniffed it for hours, but hey, I was thirsty! A very full and complex nose.

16th June 2018

Decent, but overpriced.

First impression wasn't great, but after a second try I'm glad I bought it. You can smell the mango on the nose, and the palate is pretty good - though not overly complex. I'd give it a shot if you had the chance.

25th April 2018

Well done Kavalan

Many a better single malt (and a lot more expensive to be drunk), but still a sound single malt all the same. Anything is better than a JW. Well done Kavalan.

24th March 2018


don't waste your money, go for a JW green label instead

14th March 2018


My husband had a blind tasting (thanks to your xmas gift) and thought the taste was interesting? A bit too floral for his taste though, and best with no water added, but he was glad he tried it. There is much better out there, from Scotland.

27th December 2017

dont buy!

the worst whisky I ever try-- kavalan solist-- expensive rubbish

30th October 2017


Big surprise for me ... to find this whisky so gentle and different

28th October 2017

Отгатнете сами...

Това при мен е сцената на Balvenie12 yo
Tr.cask ,1 litr.

17th October 2017

Love it

#1 for awhile now for good reason

6th June 2017

Worth a try

This was a pleasant surprise. Visiting Bangkok all the Scottish single malts were very expensive. As i am only here a short time I wanted a small bottle to avoid customs re-entering a Muslim country. The 20cc bottle at about 15 pounds fitted the bill.
On opening you can smell the honey. It is quite sweet but not badly so. I added a small amount of water to lessen the intensity and it became a good evenings drink, quite acceptable.
If I were thinking of buying something from the East I would always got for Nikon which I think is very good but being British (English/Scots) I usually stay in the UK for my whisky (although Penderyn is worth a mention).

19th May 2017

Lovely fruit flavours of Taiwan

It's actually pretty wonderful. Very first impression not overwhelming, but quickly revealed wonderfully fruity sweetness (nothing beats a Taiwan mango) and smoothness. Somehow this isn't cloying - it's just very quaffable indeed.

5th April 2017

Bit disappointing.

3 bottles whiskys opened last night. Johnnie Walker XR 21YO, Glenfiddich 12 YO and Kavalan Single Malt. JW and Glen finished but left 70% of Kavalan SM. Not smooth and after taste is a bit sharp. Not my preference.

6th February 2017

They call this whisky??

Spend more time on Taiwanese sausage instead

14th January 2017

Distillery itself started in 2005. Pretty young but not bad.

I laughed at one of the comments that said this is a mox of 12 & 14 year old. It cant be. The distillery itself started in 2005.

This whisky is fruity, light & easily drinkable. But has no qualities of an aged whisky. Further, letting the whjsky evolve in the bottle makes it less drinkable.

19th December 2016


I was bought this as a present. My usual taste strongly favours peat so wasnt expecting to enjoy! Fortunatly i was not disapointed... Inital flavour its rather medicinal, not the worst, however its very raw on the pallet with a fairly rancid aftertaste. I imagine it would be an acceptable mixer but nothing else. First whisky (upto 60 or so) that i have not enjoyed! If you like highland park and central Scotland whiskys then give it a try.

10th December 2016

Kavalan single malt

It's a decent single malt.
Bit of turpentine on the nose (weirdly as I read the reviews I seem to be the only one who smells this). Floral. Grain notes... (why am i smelling everything but malt whisky??)
Tastewise I do taste a malt whisky. Enjoyable but nothing over the top.
Finishes sweet, malty and feintly oaky.

Overall a bit dissapointed, but i'll give it another try in a couple of days or a week or so..

29th November 2016


I was on a 2+1 deal and two (!) people of the staff convinced me to try the Kavalan. Now I've tasted it and I'm not overly impressed. The color of the whiskey is very dark and it already makes you wonder if this is a real single malt. The first impression is the significantly fruity taste which I don't like too much, but there is also some smoky flavor in it, which I do like. The aftertaste is stingy and raw, not smooth as I would like it. So, I didn't quite get what I expected. Not a single malt that I'm looking for, which would be smokier and smoother.

16th September 2016


Don't waste your money

24th June 2016

Ka Va Lan

What a finish. On the nose, kind of like a good single malt 15 year old scotch. On the palate, quite interesting taking it's time to open up for you. But on the finish, it is magnificent, utterely amazing.

3rd May 2016


Great nose, very classy

22nd January 2016

Not impressed

After reading a heap of good reviews, I had the opportunity to try this one.
While not a bad whiskey, it didn't impress me, it reminds me a bit of the Yamazaki, which I'm also not a huge fan of.

23rd December 2015

Excellent. Surprisingly Good

I had this one randomly.
A friend had called me over for a story narration. I tried a few single malts and I quite liked this one. Not too old and not famous enough yet. But like Almost Everything Japanese (including Beers and Electronics), it's a class act. Very interesting.

14th December 2015

Surprisingly good for a beginner!

For me this may be no award winner and the combination of raw oakiness, sugary syrupy notes and vanilla make it a bit more bourbon than scotch but this offering from Kavalan is pleasant enough and very promising indeed.

26th November 2015

Worth adding to the list

Solid 7. When comparing to other sherries especially Mac. I would guess this is a mix of 12 and 14 year? Tastes of fruit. And sweet finish. Very little smokey taste. If at all. I see this at Costco. For about 70. I'd say worth a shot. Try to get the solist if you get a chance

14th November 2015

great balance.. not blowing you away..

rather drink this than other over priced mac series..

30th September 2015

Scotland watch out !

I forgot to add a star rating in my review . . . got to be 8 out of 10 if the Revival 15 is a 9/10 !

24th July 2015

Scotland watch out !

I had a bottle of Solist earlier this year and couldn't believe the depth of flavour and the incredible finish it had, one of the best whiskies I've ever tasted even if it's young.

This is not in the same league but it's still very good, well up with The Balvienie 17, The Macallan fine oak and others. The Glendronach Revival 15 still has the edge on depth and taste, that really is a remarkable whisky for the price but this no age Kavalan is very nice indeed with a very fruity nose, quite sweet fruit, a great taste again sweet fruit, very little wood and a long finish. The finish is probably not as good as many Scottish whiskies, nothing really wrong with it but it feels hot with little flavour after a while - I suspect older expressions would be nicer in the finish in particular.

Really nice whisky, great value at £40 which is what Waitrose were selling it for when they stocked it for a short while. I'll buy it again !

24th July 2015

Oh Kavalan

very nice on the rocks, slightly sweet and easy on the palate, one of the best I've had...

24th June 2015

Mr Chang

I only like whisky as its the only spirit that sooths me. Wine and brandy do not agree with me. I found Kavalan very enjoyable and relaxing. I drink to relax and never over the limit as to be intoxicated.

28th March 2015


Congratulations on your World beating Award,

Tiger Tom

27th March 2015

smooth sweet and easy

got to try this before the hype in taiwan

25th March 2015

A bit light...

Drinkable, light, creamy, fruity but lacking any real punch. Received as a gift but Would never spend the asking price on this. I can think of at least 20 better drams at this price...

22nd February 2015

Mango fruity surprise

Bit apprehensive about buying this but decided to try it as a blind tasting for my friends. Lovely fruity notes, particularly the mango but a little spice to keep it balanced. Everyone was impressed and a little surprised when I told them what it was. Needless to say the bottle didn't last long. Bit pricey but overall it's the taste that matters more than the age :-)

13th February 2015

Gentle Glens whisky club

We tasted this on January 10, 2015. Most members were not impressed. This is not a typical single malt. Very sweet and fruity. Price here is over $100 Canadian.

12th February 2015

A suprising whisky

I currently live in Taiwan, and though the people here have a deep passion for whisky, it mostly gets diluted with lots of water/tea or is shotted. From their drinking culture I expected a fast bottled, quick to neck whisky made with little care.

I was wrong. Somehow, despite the age of the distillery, this was perhaps the best whisky i've tasted all year. A lively, fruity flavor which leaves a rich, smooth feel.

You'll have to overcome the young age aspect to pay £55+ for it, but its worth it.

2nd January 2015


this price for a very young whisky.. this is not even on par with the Japanese whisky... at least japanese produces the very top notch whisky, unlike this newly formed distillery which bottled very young whisky.. learn from the Japanese

28th December 2014

A nice gift for someone love whisky

I bought this for my boyfriend who is a big fan of whiskey. He said this whiskey is very smooth and a hint of fruity. And he said he loves it!! So if you are looking for something unique and good and want to play safe on the taste you should give a shot on this.

11th November 2014

The Asians are catching up..

Kavalan is yet another fine example of a new Asian distillery that is coming out with some fantastic single malt. The Kavalan Single Malt is one of their entry level expressions but it sure packs a punch.

The nose highlights the lovely notes of the Oak and Vanilla from the cask in which this spirit was matured in as well some distinct fruity notes.. I'd say more Mango and Papaya is what stood out for me..

The continuity and consistency about this malt was probably what made it so special.. It was like the palate was a continuation of the nose with those juicy Mango flavors along with the Vanilla and a dash of spices. The best part though was how the malt has this rich creamy feel to it in your mouth and boy that felt really nice!

Finally as I mentioned earlier the finish too had its fair share of the Vanilla and the Oak in it.. its like the Cask had given the spirit all it could.. and left the perfect imprint on it.

All in all this one is a thumbs up.. looking forward to tasting more expressions from them..

14th June 2014

kavalan spreading the word

As a small but long time single malt collector I had the opportunity to travel to Taiwan and try their local single malt, the kavalan. Went for their 40% standard kavalan single malt. Light but well rounded with a range of fruits. Long lasting with a warm finish. Fit in well between Japanese and Scottish single malts.I can see the Kavalan range becoming much more common and popular in the UK.

19th May 2014


Tried this half expecting to be disappointed. Exactly the opposite. Tastes similar to a couple of the very good Japanese Whisky and would easily rival a good many quality Scots Whisky.

12th May 2014

Love it

Had this Kavalan whisky in Taiwan, we went to the distillery for tasting it actually came out pretty great. I love it, it is so smooth and the nose has a touch of chocolate. This is one of my favorite whisky.

7th October 2013

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