No, I didn’t make that title up: This is indeed a review of a Taiwanese whisky, finished in lychee liqueur barrels. Made by the state-owned Nantou distillery, this might sound decidedly strange at first, but then again even Scotch distillers these days mature their whisky seemingly in anything they can get their hands on just for the sake of novelty value and ten seconds of online buzz… By the way: Google is coming up empty when searching for “barrel-aged lychee liqueur” so I have no idea if this is indeed a thing or if they did what most distilleries do these days: Order casks with bespoke seasoning done specifically for them… So, let’s dive right in and see what this is all about.
Dram data: Distillery: Nantou Bottler: official bottling Distilled: – Bottled: 2015 Age: – Limitation: 700 bottles Cask: oak, lychee liqueur barrel finish Alcohol: 51% natural colour / not chill filtered Whiskybase link
Dram data: Distillery: Kavalan
Bottler: original bottling
Casks: Old ex-solera Sherry Casks
Unchillfiltered; natural colour Whiskybase link
Finally on my table and in my glass – the much talked-about Kavalan Solist Sherry Oak whisky. Time to find out what all this hype is about! The nose opens with a noticeable alcoholic note – no wonder at 57% ABV. Underneath the alcohol are intense ex-sherry aromas from supposedly real 20-year-old ex-solera system sherry casks! Don’t even bother looking for the distillery character – that’s a dry sherry cask driven dram! Right, about 10 minutes have passed now – the alcoholic note moved a bit to the background, so let’s see what we can get: Very intense! Full-on! In-your-face! Lots of dried dark fruits, mostly dates and figs but with a dry sherry note on top. Continue reading “Tasting: Kavalan Solist Sherry NAS 20cl bottle”