This review is going to look into the Kavalan Concertmaster which has come all the way from Taiwan. The Concertmaster is part of the core range from Kavalan which is a Port cask finish. You must be wondering about the name of this whisky and how did they get the name Concertmaster, well it originated from the owner Mr. Lee whose passion for classic music and wanted to convey it into his whisky and as the concertmasters has the main role in the orchestra in this whisky the main role is held by the Port casks for the second maturation and thus the name ‘Concertmaster’.
It’s also the first whisky from the distillery created using finishing. The casks used to create the Concertmaster are American oak casks and the Port barriques. It’s one of a handful part of the Kavalan core range and bottled at 40% abv which the Master Distiller Ian Chang mentioned to me is what they call “You’re every minute drinking whisky, as it’s so easy drinking.” As for the question on the age statement it is classified as a NAS (No Age Statement) whisky, this is because in Taiwan due to the heat and humidity the maturation is sped up to 3-5 time faster than in Scotland so whiskies maturing for 4 years turn out more similar to a scotch whisky at 12-20 years.
Colour: Sunglow Golden.
Nose: The nose begins with a creaminess, tropical fruits in the presence of pineapples, guava, honeydew melon and coconut milk. Along with the insides of vanilla pods. A candied nose makes itself more present as time goes on and to what I feel is candy floss and a mixed assortment of sweets.
Palate: On the palate the delivery is light in texture, slight hints in spice at first and then move into the tropical fruity notes, the texture then thickens and if feels like your tucking into a tropical fruit salad.
Finish: The finish provides a tropical fruity element which offers up added complexity. Rich wholesome creaminess, dried fruits on the end with cranberries and raspberries. A sweetness emerges just on the end of honey infused with thick Greek yoghurt. Leaving a long flavourful finish.
CASKS: American Oak casks + Finished in Port Barriques.
DISTILLERY: Kavalan Distillery
COMPANY: King Car Group
REGION/ORIGIN: Yilan County, Taiwan
Comments: In my opinion the Kavalan Concertmaster is one of the best Port cask finishes I’ve tried with the depth and complexity, it’s definitely up there on my list of Port finished whiskies. One of my favourite attributes is the combination of both creaminess and tropical fruits which display themselves on the nose all the way to the finish. As for value for money this is priced at £58 to £65 which makes it very reasonable for the quality of whisky especially when compared to other Port cask finishes in the market.
Even though this is considered as a NAS whisky it has all the great flavours which show the superiority of the casks used and them being chosen at the right time to be bottled. I would recommend you give this a try especially if you’re a fan of Port Casks finishes and I can’t wait to try the Solist Port which is bottled at the higher abv of 57.8% and a few more from Kavalan, Slainte.