Dram Review: Kavalan Solist Amontillado

[55.6%・NAS・Bottled Circa. 2015-2016・Official Bottling・Single Cask Release]

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.

Palate & Finish:

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.

☆ [Recommended]


Dram Review: Kavalan Solist Moscatel

[55.6%・NAS・Bottled Circa. 2015-2016・Official Bottling・Single Cask Release]

The Kavalan Solist Moscatel is one of the four new Solist releases Australia is getting this year. Along with the fino, it’s a series dedicated to the horizontal juxtaposition of various sherry strains. The last time I have come across a project similar to this was the Tomatin cuatro series but those were only cask finishes.

Kavalan benefits from being in the warmer climate, resulting in escalated maturation for their whiskies. Time is not one of their main considerations when investing in a project like this, a direction old world distilleries would have been hesitant to pursue in the past.


The nose opens with an elegant dried ginger note. There is a hint of menthol but the main emphasis is on the charred wood note. It’s spicy, and it exhibits some dried fruit sweetness and acidity.

Palate & Finish:

Sweet fruits drenched in brown sugar in the palate. The fruits gravitate towards the acidic side with a salty and oily mouthfeel. The spices follow through with a menthol burn.

The fruitiness grows more youthful and appealing in the finish. It’s a dram that awards patience.

☆ [Recommended]


Whisky Review: Kavalan Solist Sherry Cask Cask No. S090122062

A.K.A. “An exhilarating ride to sherry town.”

A whiff of orange peels and char smoke on the nose. Dried flowers, balsamic vinegar and a generous pinch of crushed pepper. Subdued raisins with a hint of tobacco. Nuts and cloves. The floral note amplifies with time, bringing some brown sugar sweetness in the mix along with orange essence.

Sweet brown sugar note on the palate with raisins bringing about the fruitiness. Notes of stewed dark fruits subtle but steady. Buttery caramel; warming cinnamon spices with a tiny pinch of chilli seeds.

The oak presence is quite evident in the finish; dark chocolate sauce; I would imagine the aged tobacco note makes it rather suitable to pair with a cigar.