This review will be diving into the Kavalan Solist Fino Sherry Cask. It’s been one of the most anticipated Kavalan Solist which I’ve been wanted to review for some time and finally saw the opportunity to buy and dram and jumped to the occasion. The Solist Fino Sherry intrigued me as its a type of sherry which I’ve not tasted through a whisky maturation or finishing. So a little information if you’re not familiar with sherries is that you have two types dry and sweet. The Fino sherry falls into the category of dry which imparts more rounder sweetness into the whisky.
Seeing that this is a Solist from Kavalan and Solist means that its a Single Cask production, that means that the whole maturation is from the Fino Sherry cask for the entire time and is a whisky which is bottled at cask strength and maintains its natural colour. This Kavalan Solist Fino Sherry cask is bottled at 57% which differs from other batches and is also priced at £290. So next lets get into the tasting notes.
Colour: Dark Amber.
Nose: The nose begins with the sweeter notes making themselves known, toffee, sticky caramel and heaps of sherry notes, even dark chocolate pralines. Freshly ground coffee and then the spices are uncovered with cinnamon powder, grated nutmeg, dried orange slices but comes to a end with fruitcake mix with a touch of green cardamom and a dash of rich cocoa powder.
Palate: On the palate it’s arrival has a medium texture, the sherried notes really take centre stage, surprisingly the sting in the abv can be felt but as its kept longer in the palate the texture thickens as the burn fades to a more viscus mouthfeel. The spices are first to be noted in full nutmeg, all spice and even the cinnamon is present. Mocha coffee and a mouth coating silky burnt caramel sweetness, behind that a long lasting sweetness of dried fruits but more towards figs and sticky dates with the sweet outer coating and toasted walnuts offering up a nuttier character and right on the very very end is creamy banana.
Finish: The finish leaves you with all the sweeter notes sherry stewed fruits, nutmeg, coco powder and then some spices of dried oranges and all spice, the sweetness returns on a longer finishing note of manuka honey covering dates, lingering all over the palate for a longer finish.
CASKS: Fino Sherry Cask.
DISTILLERY: Kavalan Distillery
COMPANY: King Car Group
REGION/ORIGIN: Yilan County, Taiwan
EXCLUSIVE: Yes (Different Batches)
Comments: To conclude this whisky I ask where should I begin? this offers up mass complexity of sweeter notes and spices combined so well which don’t overwhelm the palate but are so enjoyable to taste. When comparing it to other Solists I’ve tasted in the past, this Solist’s abv is more notable upfront but if you give it some time to air then its flavours become more palatable. From the nose to the palate a lot of toffee notes can be picked up which develop into burnt caramel notes as the whisky is given time to breathe, with a lot of fruity characters of dried fruits stewed in lots of sherry. When looking at the price of this whisky and asking the question is it worth it at £290 I feel more mixed as personally I feel its a bit steep at £290 but then again it is a Single cask in a sherry cask which almost little companies use which gives it a uniqueness. But when I compared the price from the distillery it works out to £220, So the distillery price of £220 is a great deal, if you have a sweeter tooth then you will find this thoroughly enjoyable. I can definitely see why its picked up so many Gold awards for this great whisky.