Help: hard liquor in taiwan

Kaoliang, it’ll put a wooly mammoth on your chest.

That Kavalan whisky got a good review from the Aussie bloke linked above. I’m a bit leery at the idea of notes of mangoes, pineapples and coconuts in the whisky…think the idea of a tropical whisky has gone to his head :unamused: .

[quote=“headhonchoII”]Kaoliang, it’ll put a wooly mammoth on your chest.

That Kavalan whisky got a good review from the Aussie bloke linked above. I’m a bit leery at the idea of notes of mangoes, pineapples and coconuts in the whisky…think the idea of a tropical whisky has gone to his head :unamused: .[/quote]

There is an old chinese saying : A monk is never a hero in his own congregation, he must go far away to become famous.

Thats probably true of Kavalan.

It has been winning a lot of medals worldwide, that much is not in doubt.

The Kavalan solist Fino has even scored a perfect 100 points at one competition and won best in class.

Many of the other Kavalans are scoring 90 plus.

That is pretty impressive.

Kavalan is made by Scottish people.

which has a ton of truth in that statement.

The still are scotch made. The grain is from europe. The blending and cast selection and methodology is from a figure who is a legend in the whiskey world. Dr. Jim Swan.

The money to fund the project : Taiwanese
The equipment to make the whiskey : European (Scottish)
The grains used : European
The casks : American and European
The methodology : Dr. Swan
The water : TAiwanese

Its like a mixed child of scot and taiwanese parentage, this whiskey but its gaining a lot of fame.

What a ton of money and the best talent and raw materials can come up with !

Even the name sounds kind of Scottish (at least to me) . Even though it is supposed to be the indigenous people who once inhabited that area of TAiwan

Kind of sounds like Gaelic although it would be spelled ‘Cabhalan’ in that case.

It’s pretty interesting that they don’t really age the whiskey (the alcohol would totally evaporate within 6 years) but the different climate conditions here actually help to give it more complexity more quickly. They sell it by taste only and it seems to hit the right ‘notes’ and they don’t have to wait so long. Kind of cool.

I still don’t get it Tommy, you paying the price of a bottle of Glenfarclas. But a whisky like Glenfarclas has earned its reputation and honestly the best drop I had was a single malt of theirs, 25 years. But more than that, some very good blended whiskies use this as a base. Can you or anyone, and without marketing language tell me whats good about Kavalan whisky?

It tastes good. Worth the price? I’ve never bought it.

That about sums it up for me. I’m not really a whisky-drinker (I just don’t like it much) but the bottle of Kavalan someone gave me was pretty good.

Interesting about the ageing process - I mean, it’s surprising whisky was never independently invented in hotter climates (or was it?), and that the most famous brands come from a small area in a very cold country.

Trust me I was more skeptical then most. I went there to the distillery on my previous visit to Taiwan and toured the place with icon. I bought 3 small bottles of the Solist series to try. Got them for something like 300nt each. This taster who i put a link to could only get them for 75 aussie bucks a piece and he thought they were worth it.

I am astonished that it appears that Kavalan is considered by the international pro drinkers as not only something serious but something unique as well. It has won double golds and other accolades worldwide in major competitions. Most of the Solist series have gained more then 90 points while the Fino (which I didnt try because at the distillery they were 6000nt a 750cc bottle) actually won a perfect 100 points. Which is hard to achieve.

I myself am not that good a taster so i thought the Kavalan whiskeys were a bit “unusual” shall we say?

Im used to the Jack Daniels and the occasional Maker’s Mark. I do like some (cheaper, from Trader Joes) speyside whiskey. So im not a good judge. But many who are more knowledgeable are impressed with the drink.

The fast aging due to climate has given Kavalan an edge over its competition. Because it has much much shortened the aging cycle.

Master blender Ian Chang has made a reputation for himself for his blending expertise and nose.

nytimes.com/2010/06/15/busin … d=all&_r=0

That’s the point I was trying to make, it may be that the tropical climate, far from acting as a hindrance, has helped them create these complex mature-like whiskies much more quickly than the traditional distillers in Scotland and Ireland.
This seems to have been unexpected although it makes sense chemistry wise, higher temperatures should speed up the adsorption of chemicals from the barrels.
I have never drunk any Kavalan and was also highly skeptical of the awards it has received and yet it seems that it is rated as a genuinely great whiskey from independent foreign tasters. Some of it might be the mystique of being so hard to get a bottle though!

All I can say is, well done!

connosr.com/reviews/kavalan/ … y-unicorn/

another fun write up by squidgeyash

and another

connosr.com/reviews/kavalan/ … obsession/

Kavalan should send this guy a bottle to thank him !

realmendrinkwhiskey.com/2011 … nd-scotch/

a nice little explanation for the laymen

And some nice notes:

thejapanesewhiskyreview.com/

I liked the sherry cask aged one, and the other premium-priced one (should a say even more premium priced), but basically, as far as I’m concerned it’s just a very good smooth whisky. Firstly my tastes don’t lean towards smooth. I like some smoke or bite or something else distinctive. Secondly it’s very good whisky at the price of fucking excellent whisky. If I were spending (what is it?) 2000-4000 on whisky, I’d spend it elsewhere. There are plenty of great bottles for little over 1000.

very true, there are other whiskeys for less money. but there are people over in europe paying as much as 200 euro for a bottle of Solist ex sherry and as much as 300 euro for a bottle of Fino.

IIRC the Fino was something like 5000nt at the distillery when i was there (too pricey for me to buy). But the Solist ex sherry was something like 2800nt?? Which i thought was very pricey as well.

but they are commanding these absurd prices over in Europe.

I havent tried the Fino. But i will pay 2800nt for a bottle of Solist ex sherry.

Can anyone comment on which one tastes the most like a normal smooth whiskey?

Also any recommendations of a whiskey shop around Taipei main station that carries it?

[quote=“chichow”]Can anyone comment on which one tastes the most like a normal smooth whiskey?

[/quote]

That’s hard to say. What’s your “normal”? Any examples? What are you going to use it for?

normal as in a blended whisky like johnny walker or a single malt like Macallan

Any convenience store really. There’s a “Drinks” liquor store on the corner of Zhonghua Rd. and Kaifeng Street.

[quote=“chichow”]Can anyone comment on which one tastes the most like a normal smooth whiskey?

Also any recommendations of a whiskey shop around Taipei main station that carries it?[/quote]

I’d try Glenfidditch. I like 18 years. They sell it at Carrefour.