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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.
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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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
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
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
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
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
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
rather drink this than other over priced mac series..
30th September 2015
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
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 !
very nice on the rocks, slightly sweet and easy on the palate, one of the best I've had...
24th June 2015
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. Chang
28th March 2015
Congratulations on your World beating Award, Tiger Tom
27th March 2015
got to try this before the hype in taiwan
25th March 2015
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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