This review is going to look into the Kavalan Podium which is the third Kavalan that I’d be reviewing along with a couple others to follow. The Kavalan Podium was released in 2012 which is an addition to the core range which is bottled at a slightly higher abv of 46% compared to the Classic and Concertmaster. The casks used in the creation of the Podium are New American Oak (also known as Virgin Oak Casks) and refill casks. Just last year it picked up the Winner of best Taiwanese single malt at the World Whisky Awards 2016.
For some wondering on the age of this whisky it is a NAS (No Age Statement) whisky but if you don’t know already about the maturation of whiskies in Taiwan’s hot and humid climate I’ll share with you exactly what happens. The maturation of whiskies in the Taiwanese climate are subjected to hot and humid high temperatures which speed up the maturation process between 3-5 times faster than the rate in Scotland, so a whisky which is being released from Taiwan at 4 years old will effectively be close to a 12 to 20 year old whisky from Scotland as a comparison. Next let’s move into my tasting notes into the Kavalan Podium.
Colour: Pale Gold.
Nose: The nose tropical fruits to begin with dried mango and lots of ripe green apples, behind than there is a vanilla oak and cedar-woody presence surrounded by a floral note of cherry blossoms offering its sweetness. Then right on the end is a slight burst in spice which reminds me of white pepper.
Palate: On the palate entry begins with a medium texture but now the white pepper is felt in full effect. After letting the spice settle on the palate it reveals the fruitier aspects to this whisky with those green apples making an appearance, barley notes almost chewy and warm baked banana bread glazed with a coating of treacle.
Finish: The finish for this whisky has a medium to long finish but after giving it a second taste I’m going to turn more towards a longer finish. The dry vanilla oaky notes really playing through the middle of the palate and sweetness from a honey blossom lingering around the palate. I’m still finding the warmth of spices as they slowly fade but holding the finish and making way leaving the palate feel slightly dry but yet wanting more.
CASKS: New American Oak casks (Virgin Oak)+ Refill Casks.
DISTILLERY: Kavalan Distillery
COMPANY: King Car Group
REGION/ORIGIN: Yilan County, Taiwan
Comments: In my opinion the Kavalan Podium is an easy going whisky as some of my favourite aspects about it are the nose which draws you in and the texture which remains consistent however I feel that it did disguise the spice on the palate but with a little time you get the fruitier notes unravelling themselves layer by layer. As for the money aspect which is priced at between £60-£70 it’s definitely a whisky which carries depth and complexity, I personally feel if you can pick it up for closer to the £60 marker then you can’t go wrong. If you’re looking for a dram to try this whisky, you can get it from MasterOfMalt as they offer the DrinksByTheDram service for a 3cl dram. Now would I recommend adding water the answer to that would be try it neat at first and then if you need add a little water as it will reduce the spice. Let me know your thoughts below and check out my YouTube video here into the ‘Kavalan Podium.’ Slainte!