Whisky Review – Kavalan Solist Vinho Barrique

World whisky captured the best whisky title in both Jim Murray latest whisky bible and the Malt Maniacs Awards. Mr. Murray selected a Japanese whisky, the Yamazaki Sherry Cask 2013 (which prompted my review of the 2009 version) And the Malt Manicas selected a Taiwanese whisky, the Kavalan Solist Sherry Cask.

I was very surprised from Mr. Murray selection and I already discussed this in the Yamazaki Sherry Cask review, but wasn’t too surprise to hear about the Kavalan selection in the MMA. Last year, in Whisky Live Tel-Aviv 2014 I had the honor to participate in a masterclass led by Jim Swan, their master blender and taste many Kavalan whiskies and I was very impressed with the Solists that were featured in the show.

Unfortunately, I lost the notes I wrote back then but I had a 2nd opportunity to taste the Solist Vinho Barrique (which is actually a PX cask) in the Nov 2014 meeting of the MMI whisky club.

Yeah, it’s a different cask but it’s more then adequate for getting the drift of this whisky character.

Kavalan Solist Vinho Barrique (57.7%, £93.76/€93)

kavalan solist vinho barrrique 57.7Nose: Punchy blow on first sniff with a big blow of sweetness. It’s not overdoing it as there’s a sour edge that keeps it in check. berries mix and spices with lots of nutmeg and cinnamon.

Palate: Spicy, sweet cherries, chocolate and espresso. Once again a mix of sweet and sour berries

Finish: Long, lingering chocolate and espresso. Sour-sweet berries mix.

Thoughts: Real darn good bottling from Kavalan. It’s flavourful with flavours meshing well together, balanced and with extra oomph. Very well defined whisky (you could say it’s well chiseled as Serge says) Like I said, the Entire Solist series is excellent and is on a different level from the other Kavalan expressions (with Fino and Bourbon casks on the top for me), so yeah, we all should pay attention to world whisky, and no, Scotch isn’t on the down trend. You just need to pick up the good distilleries and the good whisky the produce, ignoring its origin.

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