Kavalan tasting at The Old Pipe

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In a week where the famous Zagatti Collection was brought to Holland ánd Whisky Live Holland 2015 has it's kick off, there was another very interesting event planned in St. Oedenrode. We unfortunately had to miss the arrival of the priceless collection but we will be attending The Hague this weekend and we were present at the Kavalan tasting held at The Old Pipe. Two out of three isn't bad at all!

This year we've become regular customers in the shop in St. Oedenrode so when the owner told us about this Kavalan tasting we didn't hesitate, we had to be there. Both Peter and I had never tasted Kavalan before but we knew about the great reputation this distillery has earned in it's short history. Last wednesday we had our first encounter with this Taiwanese liquid gold and I'm sure it won't be the last!

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Around thirty people attended the tasting which was hosted by Emma Lin (Global Business Development). Hans Bresser was there as well as he is the importer of the Kavalan whisky's in The Netherlands. Journalist Ad van Gaalen (what's in a name...), writing for the Whisky Etc. magazine was also present. At 20.00hr it was time to start and Emma started her presentation.

The distillery is part of the King Car company, a big company that's involved in a lot of products in the food and beverage business. Mr. Tien-Tsai Lee is the founder of this company and he always had the dream of producing a Taiwanese single malt whisky. Before 2002 however the only distilled spirits were made in government owned company's. When Taiwan joined the World Trading Organisation these rules no longer applied and plans could be made. In 2005 the plans became reality and in a short period of only nine months a whiskydistillery was build. The first spirit left the stills in 2006 and was bottled in 2008 (In Taiwan the minimum maturing time is two years to call the spirit a whisky). In the years following the distillery has won an impressive list of rewards and medals.

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"Passion is the ultimate ingredient to success"

The warm and humid climate in Taiwan results in more interaction between the spirit and the casks. The aroma's, the colour and the different tastes are extracted from the wood faster then we're used to in Europe. Kavalan whisky's therefore have quite a lot of taste and body and even a very nice finish despite the young age. Throughout the line up this became very clear to me.

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The line up:

  • Kavalan Classic Single Malt
  • King Car Conductor
  • Kavalan Ex-Bourbon Oak
  • Kavalan Solist Ex-Bourbon
  • Kavalan Sherry Oak
  • Kavalan Solist Sherry

As a bonus we also had a small dram of two new expressions:

  • Amontillado Sherry Cask
  • PX Sherry cask

In the next weeks we will describe the whisky's we tasted. For now we thank Emma for her presentation and Johan van Boxmeer for organising this very nice tasting.

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