Kavalan Solist Ex-Bourbon Cask #75 K&L Exclusive Cask Strength Single Barrel Taiwanese Single Malt Whisky (750ml) (Elsewhere $170)

SKU #1262663

Taiwan's Kavalan distillery once faced an uphill battle, selling their single malt whisky to a world of skeptics. It didn't take long, however, to sway the critics. Starting with the Ex-Bourbon winning World Whisky of the Year from Whisky Advocate and their Vinho Barrique taking "best in the world" at the World Whisky Awards the entire planet took notice and Kavalan has become nearly impossible to get since. Here at K&L we are lucky to have a close relationship to both the company and to the master distiller Ian Chang, who hosted our group in Taiwan back in 2014. Due to the close bond that was formed between K&L and Kavalan, we were allowed to select three single barrel casks to be bottled exclusively for our store; all three of which were ex-Bourbon barrels. Because of Taiwan's subtropical climate and intense humidity, the whisky ages more rapidly and soaks up the flavor of each cask with intense concentration. In each cask, the Bourbon flavor comes through almost more than the single malt character. Barrel #75A is another beast of a whisky at 58.6% ABV, but it's the richest of the three by a hair with subtle floral elements that dance atop the intense oak flavor. There's more maltiness apparent on the palate than the others and there's a tropical coconut note on the finish that comes from the sweetness of the oak. It still needs water, however, as the high proof masks much of the complexity when taken neat. It's a whisky to unlock slowly and methodically.

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By: Jeffrey Jones | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 7/3/2016 | Send Email
The Kavalan cask 75 has aromas that hint of caramel and honey. In the mouth this theme continues with subtle caramel and honey and a touch of spice. It is complex and rich and will give a whiskey drinker something to think about. A splash of water will soften and open up this whiskey.

By: David Othenin-Girard | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 6/30/2016 | Send Email
I remember the first time I tasted Kavalan Single Cask (Solist). It was at the 2013 Whisky Fest in San Francisco. This special little distillery was completely unknown by the general public at the time. While people lined up out the door to get a tiny snort of Pappy, I sauntered over to the small table where Ian Chang stood completely alone and got REAL excited to see all FOUR Solists casks there to taste. I'd heard good things from Taiwanese friends and certain members of the whisky geek elite, but I was very surprised to see Mr. Chang actually manning the table. He took me through the line-up and I became completely enamored. The incredible complexity and depth that these whiskies show is unprecedented for an upstart single malt distillery. After a nice long chat, I thank Mr. Chang and jokingly said as I left, "can't wait to buy some single casks!" The ever gracious distiller, looked at me slyly and said, "You’ll have to come to Taiwan." I promised I’d tried and walked away certain that this was the best whisky of the night. A year later, my colleague David was actually able to make the journey to visit Ian and there the true seed of the possibility began to grow. Then one day months later, the importer walked in and slid three samples across my desk. In the mean time, Kavalan had become one of the hottest brands in the world and we were selling out ever drop we could get our hands on in a matter of days if not hours. The prospect of getting a single cask was almost too good to be true. Indeed, as we tasted through them I was blown away by the complexity and depth of each. We just couldn't let these incredible whiskies slip through our fingers, no matter what the cost. And so we didn't. We may be one of the only places in the US right now to have cask strength ex-bourbon. Thanks to our importers efforts, we locked in the casks at the 2015 pricing, so expect subsequent offerings to be $20-30 more expensive than then. Cask #75 is easily the most closed of the three casks right out of the bottle. It shows dark flavors, more exotic wood and deeper spice notes, still exhibiting incredible complexity, but without the intense sweet notes of the other two casks. With water however, this baby really opens up and starts to bring in complexities not available in its sisters. First, the mahogany notes begin to move more toward sandalwood and around the omnipresent vanilla, you'll see fresh mint and echoes of malted grain. This whisky begs you to take your time an watch it's layers unfold.

By: Andrew Stevens | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 6/24/2016 | Send Email
Another excellent exclusive for us here at K&L, this single barrel Taiwanese whisky opens with a rich nose resplendent with some dense fruit notes and plenty of caramel. The body is creamy with fruit and lots of baking spice. The finish is somewhat woody and coats the mouth, leading to a super long finish with some heat. This is a long, rich whisky that has plenty of complexity.

By: Sal Rodriguez | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 6/22/2016 | Send Email
This baby is intense, and delicious! The sweetness (think brown sugar and maple syrup) is quite evident from the nose, and continues on throughout the palate. A good deal of vanilla extract and a touch of anise is waiting for you as you continue to drink. If you just add a little water to this, it is going to sing! Just incredible!

By: David Driscoll | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 6/22/2016 | Send Email
With water this baby really opens up and lets loose a wave of sweet vanilla, crème brulee, soft fruit, and even a hint of tropical fruit on the finish. Kavalan's Solist series has always been popular, and now we've got our own limited edition batches here at K&L!

By: Joe Manekin | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 6/22/2016 | Send Email
This is a delicious cask of whiskey! It's got incredible richness and sweetness: think vanilla cream frosting and cake batter. Adding a bit of water helps to bring out more layered aromas and balance this intense whiskey. This has my highest recommendation for anyone who loves full flavored Scotch not that is not lacking in decadent richness or sweetness.

Additional Information:

Varietal:

Malt

Country:

Other International

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Alcohol Content (%): 58.6