On april 18th we compared two Kavalan Solist Sherry Casks. As with every single cask, there’s a great chance of differences with every batch. The previous one we reviewed, was lighter in colour and fruitier and woodier in taste. The one we’re reviewing today (#S100209030a) is a lot darker. It’s nearly impossible to look through the dark liquid in the glass, and it surely tastes this way! We scored both bottles a whopping 96 points.
Dark, darker, darkest!
Heavy, syrupy and dark, the sherry cask worked his butt off with loads of raisins, licorice, rye bread, hay and a smell that reminds of ruby port
It’s dry, sweet, sticky and very heavy, with dark cherries, wood and thick waves of sherry cask influence
The drying woody sherry notes continue, waves of amarene cherries, liquorice and raisins, there’s no end, it goes on and on and on, until you’ll get a nice sweet taste of apple syrup and tobacco. The sweet tobacco taste doesn’t leave you for the next couple of hours.
The warm climate of Taiwan is a maturation accelerator. At first sip, I immediately thought: “This is the GlenDronach 21yo times 3”. In terms of thickness and sherry influence, it is. But is this a proper replacement? After comparing the two side by side, the answer is no. In fact, they’re very different. This Kavalan could replace lots of heavy sherry bombs, but GlenDronach (for example) has a special taste that can’t be matched.
Because Scotch whisky and Asian whisky mature under different circumstances, especially the climate, you’ll get different types of cask influences, so there’s no question of replacing the one with the other. But we can say: you wouldn’t want to miss this one, try it out, it’s great! This one’s gonna be a staple in our collection, that’s for sure.