King Car

The distillery was build in 2005 and named after the indigenous 'Kavalan' who  inhabited the Kabalan Plain where the site is located.  The first bottling was made in 2008 and since then numerous Kavalan's have gone on to win industry awards. Given the high temperature and humidity, maturation is achieved much faster in Taiwan and therefore most bottlings, despite being less than 10 years of age show remarkable depth and character. 

Distillery Bottlings

Posted 27 January 2020

Mash bills, fermentation regimes, terroir (though not after this weekend’s antics), filling strengths, wood types – there’s countless topics for enthusiasts to discuss and dissect. I’m therefore somewhat surprised that maturation temperatures just aren’t really a *thing*, and are rarely debated at least not with Scotch whisky. It’s usually mild or cold, its often quite wet, fill casks, lay them down, 2% angels share, apply some semblance of patience. Job done. And yet you don’t have to look far to see an industry unsure as to how to describe this fundamental process. On the one hand, some producers are keen to suggest that location and ambient conditions have no impact on their resulting spirit (particularly when all housed on the mainland), on the other, those same producers are quite happy to propose that location (particularly coastal ones) inherently shapes the profile of the spirit character. You really can’t have it both ways.

Posted 17 April 2018

When I was growing up, the Scottish whisky market was mainly available in two flavours - ex-bourbon cask or ex-sherry cask. But, over the last two decades, the industry as a whole has adopted a much wider palate of cask types to work from. Myriad predecessor liquids, levels of charring, customised barrel heads, and that’s before one has even considered the growing use of finishes. It’s all much more complicated than it used to be. Taiwan-based Kavalan have not had hundreds of years of history - they were only founded in 2005 – but they’re already trying to ride the wave of cask diversity with 19 different variants within their current range.

Posted 19 May 2017

There are many variables at play when it comes to cask maturation, but one thing is for sure - the warmer it is, the faster the interaction of liquid and wood. It's very warm in Taiwan, and at King Car distillery they even close the warehouse windows in the summer to keep the heat in. Fortunately, it's also pretty humid too (often reaching 95%), so whilst the heat dramatically speeds up maturation, the humidity keeps the angel's share down to around 10-12%. That's still high though - most Scottish distilleries would guestimate their annual evaporation closer to 2%.

Posted 26 September 2017

Kavalan’s range of Solists expressions has grown rapidly over the past few years. From what could be considered as traditional styles in the form of ex-bourbon and ex-sherry casks we now have port, wine and brandy casks and in 2016 a myriad varieties of sherry styles were also released. The new 2016 bottlings are all fantastic, but they come with hefty (over £300) price tags, which seems like a whole new world when you’re talking about whisky which is only around 7-8 years of age. Nevertheless, the original ex-Bourbon and ex-Sherry Solists are still available (as they’re batch produced) and a lot less punishing on the wallet.

Posted 18 August 2017

I've been somewhat remiss in keeping up with Kavalan reviews. We’ll fix that today by starting to explore King Car’s well-regarded single cask ‘Solist’ line of whiskies, starting with the Sherry Cask release. The Kavalan Solists maintain the classical music (Conductor, Concertmaster, Podium etc) link found across many of King Car bottlings, but with an odd spelling of the more commonly known ‘soloist’. Nit-picking aside the name is very apt as the range is made up of a growing range of single cask releases all designed to show off a particularly facet of King Car’s spirit.

Posted 06 June 2017

When your single-digit aged sherry expressions are commanding the same prices as mature Scottish stock from the 1960’s it’s fair to say that something spectacular has happened. So it is with King Car who, despite only being founded in 2005, have picked up a string of industry awards for their Kavalan Taiwanese single malt. 



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