Kavalan Solist Fino


Distillery/Brand: Kavalan
Bottling: Solist Fino
ABV: 59.4%
Colour: Madeira

Nose: 24
Taste: 24
Finish: 24
Balance: 24

If I had been blindfolded and given this single malt from Taiwan I would have bet my first born that this was a bourbon from Heaven Hill. No questions about it!

The first thing to draw your attention is the deep burgundy color sitting inside the bottle which immediately causes you to salivate uncontrollably. Such is the allure in the eyes alone.

The heavy sherried nose is bursting with dark autumn fruits – plums, berries and humungous red grapes. The fruits are then reduced in a mixture of red wine and sugar and then poured on top of a soft gooey chocolate fudge cake. As the glistening syrup trickles down the side a few slices of over-ripe bananas, sprinkled with coconut dust, are layered on top to complete the presentation.

Intense black peppers on the tongue is the first thing you notice. But before you have time to wipe the tears from your eyes (tears of joy, I might add) blackberry laced maple syrup swoops in and takes you to a very special Christmas memory. A touch of leather, black currants and berries add yet another layer of delicious complexity.

The mammoth woody finish has a touch of anis but that is rounded off by the overpowering jaggery that rushes in at the end.

There are few times when a whisky will leave me speechless. This was one of them.

Rating: 96


9 thoughts on “Kavalan Solist Fino

  1. My my. Betting your first born and speechless. Mr Tabarak – you got yourself a new girl friend!!!
    Seems like I missed a good session yesterday!
    Does the bottle mentions Fino?

  2. Interesting.. and this sure is on the ‘must have’ list now.. how old is this one?.. do u recon this could have a lot to do with the weather in Taiwan .. just being perfect for this malt to mature.. ofcourse not taking anything from the distillery and the master blender there…

    • I’m not sure if it’s the weather. I think it’s the use of this particular cask that’s made this a great whisky. I suspect this is a first fill (the color is almost like red wine). It’s so bourbon like that I thought that maybe they used corn as well but it doesn’t seem so.

      So I guess it’s pretty much down to the cask because I’ve had the regular Kavalan (bourbon cask) and it’s not even close to something like this.

  3. Tab’s erudition is superbly matched by KaVaLan which is in the same league of George T Stagg Sazerac…Birla jee you were badly missed …The greatness of this whisky was enhanced by the fact that we even have a few turncoats with overnight change of heart -)

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