Yuan Shan Distillery
Situated just one hour outside Taipei, the first distillation took place only in 2006 and since then are arguably producing some of the finest single malts on this planet. With an angel’s share of at least 15% due to the heat and humidity, cooler mountain storage is required to prevent any further divine intervention of this unique and wonderful spirit.
Kavalan Concertmaster Single Malt 43% Finished in Ruby,Tawny & Vintage Port Barriques
Sweetly stewed red berries, cranberries dominating with rich rumtopf and red liquorice on the nose.
Thin on the tongue but toffee-sweet with iced mocha, chili chocolate and a lingering malt and vinous finish.
Moreish, delicious and a nicely balanced malt. 86
Kavalan Single Malt 43% Matured in Fresh Bourbon, Fresh Sherry, Refill Bourbon, Spanish Red Wine & Portuguese White Wine Casks.
Floral top notes on the nose, of jasmine and strawberry flavoured chewy sweets, with toffee and barley humming sweetly in the depths.
Oily texture on the palate, the fruit and malt more evident with spice and dark chocolate on the mid palate, the finish short with red grapefruit. 82
Kavalan Solist Ex-Bourbon Single Malt 58.8% Cask0B070611012 Bottle No. 008/209 Bottled 02/07/2010
Molten toffee and malted barley dominate the nose with floral freesia top notes and sweet pears.
Fudge-sweet on the tip of the tongue, the abv ambushes the mid palate, combustive and salt-laden, leaving a short barley-infused chenin blanc on the short finish.
One of the few cask cask strength expressions that exceeds expectations when a dash of water is added, particularly on the palate. Now the toffee vanillas are boosted tenfold, taming the explosive mid palate, the finish still short, vinous and salty but now well balanced with the rest of the palate. Delicious! 89
Kavalan Solist Sherry Cask Single Malt 58.6% Cask05060904046 Bottle No.22/180
Poached plums and stewed prunes, pressed raisins and sultanas, inky molasses, a hint of tobacco and liquorice, a cornucopia of dark and red fruits dusted with sweet spice mesmerise the nose.
Rich, robust with spicy red berries, the palate mimics the nose creating a perfect balance. There is sweet sherry on the tip of the tongue, then a hot stew of plums and prunes drying to a heavy European wooded finish, the raisins lingering on for eternity.
I tend to drink these magnificent creations neat as they tend to reflect the essence of a distillery but a little water brings out an interesting hint of the sweetest Bowmore, while the rumtopf fruits are now wrapped in dark chocolate. 97
Do sherry bombs get any better than this? Karuizawa has always been the reference for whiskies like this but the Solist Sherry is sublimely the best….