Whisky Review: Kavalan Solist Amontillado

Congratulations to Kavalan for yet another successful year at the World Whiskies Awards. I had the fortune to taste a sample of this along with the Moscatel and the Manzanilla casks, and whilst all are delicious, I have to say this one was by far the most complex though I couldn’t really decide if I love the specific flavours or not, such is the fascination with whiskies, ultimately preferences can be quite personal and objective..

Initially, it’s slightly dusty but immensely oaky on the nose, in a good way. The sweet floral musk and the aromatic essence of bright red cherries guide it from being over-oaked. Traces of prunes and lemon peels along with peppercorns and cloves on the back end. To a lesser extent, there is a vanilla grain note faintly noticeable in the background.

On the palate, this dram gives the people what they want, brown sugar with a whole lot of spices and woody notes to show in the first place; then comes the sublime delivery of seasoned fruits that just oozes out. The brightness of fruits then takes a slight detour to reveal notes of milk powder and black tea, before the sultry sweetness comes back in a jam like texture, bringing about dark chocolate and tannins.

The sherry fruits slowly subside to unfold brushes of vanilla grain over a slight bitter note of black tea, with just a touch of mint to conclude.

A sophisticated dram amongst offerings that are mostly bold and indulging, it invites you to look deeper into its soul, a contemplative dram.

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-NL