By Christopher McCollum
Taiwanese company Kavalan has made shockwaves around the world amongst whiskey/whisky connoisseurs, as a blind taste test among experts in Scotland resulted in them beating out three Scottish blends and an English.
Yesterday was Burns Night in Scotland, which is the annual celebration of the birthday of Scottish Poet Robert Burns. To mark the celebration, the taste test went on to see which was the best Scotch. The two foreign bottles were sneaked into the test, and surprise surprise when the results were declared. “Oh. My. God.” were the words out of expert Charles MacLean’s mouth when the results were declared, as the Kavalan whisky won 27.5 points out of a possible 40, beating second place Langs by 5.5 points. The taste was described as fruity, and one can be sure that there will soon be a run on Kavalan whisky, as more and more people want to experience this New Kid On The Block.
Unfortunately, the Taiwanese brand is not readily available, as worldwide distribution hasn’t gone into full effect. The company is marketing itself as “The 1st step to a hundred-year distillery” and has been working through trial and error to create Taiwan’s first whisky. The name comes from the name of the first people to settle the Lan-Yan plain in Taiwan, and the company chose Kavalan because it represents sincerity, honesty, and step-by-step cultivation.
Right now, the pricing research that I can find puts it at about $68 for a 750ML bottle, putting it on the rather expensive side. However, with the reviews that have been given it, we are definitely not looking at a low quality whisky. In their efforts to create Taiwan’s first whisky, they have produced a work of art that may become a masterpiece, as their process continues to grow and evolve. They are taking the right steps, putting incredible effort into the research and design process; They have imported copper stills from Scotland, as well as the services of Scottish master distillers. Combining these efforts with King Car, their parent company’s thirty years of food and beverage experience, the sky appears to be the limit for the Taiwanese upstart.
Here’s hoping we can get a bottle on hand to do our own taste test, in the near future.