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.
King Car Conductor is the only whisky in the King Car range to be named after the distiller itself and not carry the 'Kavalan' brand. It's made the same way though - single malt whisky produced in a country where the warm weather speeds up maturation rapidly and the angel's share is a cracking 10-12% annually.
Nose: Sweetness via honey and vanilla immediately upfront. Coconut and banana reinforce the tropical aroma often associated with King Car Distillery and their hot and rapid maturation. A certain degree of cinnamon, musk and incense which becomes more pronounced with the addition of water.
Taste: A somewhat hot attack (acetone) which contains tropical fruits (coconut and banana again) along with a smattering of greener fruit (apples and pears). Heavy and clinging taste of malts which is best decribed as 'gripy' in terms of mouthfeel. Winey notes come through with some vibrant wood spicing, in the form of cinnamon and pepper. Vanilla is ever present from what is clearly a heavy oak dosing.
Finish: Long, spicy (pepper) and fairly astringent.
Warm weather rapid ageing has allowed this whisky to develop and integrate some interesting tropical flavours and depth, but its youth is still fairly obvious. The usually spot on ABV of 46% feels pretty boozy here, and whilst a dash of water reduces the hostility, it also detracts away from the expansive fruit flavours. Perhaps I just didn't find the precise number of drops to add?!