Recently, the World Whiskies Awards called Kavalan Solist Vinho Barrique Single Cask Strength the 2015 Best Single Malt. Some traditionalist, of course, balked at the mention of a non-Scottish single malt, not to mention that they did not even pick the best expression from Kavalan. In any case, it inspired us to do a blind tasting and pick, once and for all, the best Kavalan.
The Club consensus is yet to be decided. Still, here are my notes:
10. Smells like Hawaiian fruit punch, the one that came in the blue can. It is odd. A little bit artificial, as in too much of this can’t be good for me. Asian pear. Rum raisin ice cream. Quite an interesting taste, it’s unlike other stuff that I have tasted recently. Not that Spicy. I like how it lingers on the finish. It’s good. B+. Rank 3. The reveal: Fino.
25: Best Nose. Reminds me of one of my favorite drams from SMWS, a 7 year old Dailuaine. Plums and apricots, pineapple jelly beans, white gummy bears. However, if you linger in the bowl, it starts to smell like glass cleaner. It’s a bit spicy on the tongue, but not overbearing. I like it with popcorn. It brings out the romantic side of me – Road Trips in a convertible. Spring time. Rolling hills. Picnic baskets filled with fancy cheese, figs, prosciutto, and crackers. Beautiful girl in a flowy, summer dress, and she is not wearing a bra. A-. I can drink this forever with no hangover. Rank 1. The reveal: ex-Bourbon.
18. Smells like high-end cognac – Louis XIII. It’s something that Alfred, Bruce Wayne’s butler would serve to me on a silver platter during Christmas time while I wait on Bruce, who is taking a phone call from Commissioner Gordon. In the mouth, I am reminded of Aberlour A’bunadh, one of my favorite Sherry bombs. Waffle cookies. Cherries covered in dark chocolate. It’s warming, like a blanket enveloping me from the cold, while the fireplace is on. B. Rank 4. The reveal: Sherry.
60. The nose reminds me of the entrance of a humid, long-forgotten cave, where treasures and curse lie hidden, and you half-expect a fairy to pop out of nowhere to lead you into a trap. Zesty citrus nose. Honey. Freshly made mochi black sesasme ice cream. Initial hit on the tongue is smooth, but quickly reveals to be a little spicy. The finish is spicy and it lingers. B+. Rank 2. The reveal: Vinho Barrique.