Kavalan King Car Whisky

Score: 95/100 
ABV: 46%
Origin: Taiwan 
Price: $140

King Car whisky is produced by the Kavalan distillery in Taiwan and it takes its name from the owners of Kavalan, the Taiwanese King Car Company. The King Car whisky is intended to be complex, rounded and multi-faceted to pay homage to the diverse work of the King Car Group.
The whisky itself is evidence that Taiwan can produce world class whisky that is complex, elegant, interesting and mature. That maturity is a big part of what makes Kavalan so intriguing. In warmer subtropical climates such as Taiwan the pores in oak expand from the heat and soak up more whisky than in colder climates. This means that whisky can mature more quickly in Taiwan. It also means that a whisky can get too “woody” before being mature because it soaks up the flavours of the wood without breaking them down properly or undergoing sufficient oxidization. Whatever oak casks have been used by Kavalan to mature King Car whisky, they are a masterstroke and testament to the fact that in the right conditions whisky can mature quickly without getting “woody” first. Despite having been matured in such a warm climate as Taiwan the King Car whisky has an almost perfect balance that offers a multidimensional display of fruit, vanillas and wood spice with only a semblance of “woodiness” emerging in the finish. This is a mature world whisky. Not woody, mature. In my opinion King Car is one of the most fascinating world whiskies on the market. So fascinating in fact, it has taken me a while to fully appreciate it.
Nose: Banana, vanilla, sweet custard buns, cherry ripe, toasted coconut, chocolate, papaya, ground pepper, nutmeg and mild saffron.
Taste:  On the entry the whisky is smooth, rounded, complex and energetic with sparks of spice bursting within its layered creamy texture. Vanilla and reduced banana with bitter dark chocolate soften sparks of peppery wood spices and cracked cinnamon as hints of wood begin to emerge.
Finish: Hints of salt with a distinctly umami twist drift over the drying wood notes, bitter dark chocolate and a resurgence of the papaya and toasted coconut on the nose.     

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