Advent Day 16: Kavalan

Day 16 of the Whisky Advent Calendar comes all the way from Taiwan…

Kavalan Single Malt Whisky
40% ABV

What the Distillery Says
Kavalan Classic Single Malt Whisky exemplifies the sheer quality of whisky currently coming out of Taiwan. The skills of Master Blender Ian Chang work with the humid Taiwanese climate to create whisky that is diverse and complex. Fresh and clean, the spirit is rich with silky smoothness and hints of tropical fruits, mango in particular.

Nose: Clean, elegant, floral (pleasant & refreshing fragrance of the butterfly orchid), fruity and seductive. With hints of honey, tropical fruits (mango in particular), pear drop, vanilla, coconuts and suggestions of chocolate.

Palate: A hint of sweet mango juice with that spicy complexity and gentle warmth on a medium, oily and citrus finish.

Tasting: Kavalan classic is the perfect partner for seafood. We suggest sometimes you can dilute Kavalan classic with water, the perfect racio is “Kavalan Classic 1: Water 5”, and add ice to cool.

What Richard Says
Nose: Poached pear and green apple sweetness with a mild malty backbone.
Palate: Delicate and floral with notes of under ripe apples, expressed citrus peel, and digestive biscuits.
Finish: Lingering wet wood and vanilla extract.
Comments: I’ve only been fortunate enough to try Kavalan a few times and this is my first experience with their signature malt. It is a lovely, clean, well crafted malt that sits a bit middle of the road. It won’t offend any camp of whisky enthusiast but it won’t set them on fire either. One for the Glenmorangie fans out there.
Rating: Stand Out

Advent Day 15: Lost Distilleries Blend

On the 15th day of Advent, my calendar gave to me…

The Lost Distilleries Blend Blended Scotch Whisky
Batch 10

51% ABV

What the Blender Says
It is no secret amongst whisky-lovers that some of the greatest and most admired distilleries in Scotland are those that have sadly closed over the years. Be these closures due to economic circumstance, lack of demand, or just bad fortune, many of the whiskies left behind have attained iconic, near-mythical status amongst the whisky cognoscenti.

The Lost Distilleries Blend has reached double digits! Yes, The Blended Whisky Company’s exceptional blended Scotch whisky created exclusively with malt and grain whiskies from distilleries that have shut their doors has arrived at its 10th batch. As ever, stocks both rare and sought-after by whisky collectors and cognoscenti alike have made their way into the Lost Distilleries Blend – this time featuring whisky from Caperdonich, Rosebank, Imperial, Mosstowie, Glen Mhor, Glenisla, Glenlochy, Craigduff, Port Ellen and Brora, alongside grain from Port Dundas. A marvel of blending and a fine tribute to those gone but not forgotten greats.

Batch 10 is a release of 1,041 bottles.

What Richard Says
Nose: Deep notes of warm fruit, polished old oak furniture, fine aged tobacco, rich vanilla cream, and that wonderful “old whisky” nose.
Palate: Stewed stone fruits, more vanilla cream, raisins, and toffee.
Finish: Herbal and smoky with a sprinkling of cocoa powder and ground black pepper. After all that fades it gets really bitter.
Comments: Delicious! This is a very complex and well integrated old blend of scotch. It is pricey and not widely distributed. I don’t think that I would scour the earth for a bottle but if you come across the opportunity to try it then you definitely should.
Rating: Must Try

Advent Day 14: Mackmyra Brukswhisky

Day 14 of the whisky advent calendar bring a Swedish treat…

Mackmyra Brukswhisky Swedish Single Malt Whisky
41.4% ABV

What the Distillery
Mackmyra Brukswhisky is an exciting, well-balanced whisky, created to be enjoyed at all times. Enjoy Brukswhisky as it is, with or without ice, on any occasion.

NOSE Butterscotch, citrus, pear, licorice, banana and mint.

TASTE Fresh fruity and peppery. Youthful, fruity flavor with a spicy taste of toffee.

What Richard Says
Nose: Kind of mealy with notes of barley and malt.
Palate: Fruity sweet with an edging of ground black pepper. Clean with a slightly minty note.
Finish: Fleeting with a bit more pepper spice.
Comments: Meh. This is my first experience with Mackmyra and it isn’t starting with a great first impression. This is very light, uninspiring, and should probably be regulated to a mixer…and a pricey mixer at that.
Rating: Average

Advent Day 13: Big Strand

Thirteen days in and the whisky advent calendar delivers me something that I had not previously heard of….

Big Strand Islay Single Malt Whisky
46% ABV

What the Bottler Says
Not really anything. No website, press release, or really anything.

What Richard Says
Nose: Smoky and meaty.
Palate: Surprisingly sweet with notes of roasted peppers and salty sea air.
Finish: Hot and dry.
Comments: I would pass on this one. There is plenty of Islay malt out there but this one is unbalanced and feels cobbled together. This is probably either a product of young or poorly chosen whisky.
Rating: Probably Pass

Advent Day 12: Evan Williams BIB

Day number twelve brings a classic bottled in bond bourbon from my whisky advent calendar…

Evan Williams Bottled in Bond Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey
50% ABV

What the Distillery Says
Evan Williams White label is our signature 100 proof, Bottled-in-Bond Bourbon. To be labeled as Bottled-in-Bond,” a spirit must be the product of one distillation season and one distiller at one distillery, bottled at 100 proof and aged for at least four years under U.S. government supervision.

Evan Williams White is bold and full-flavored, with all of the kick that you would expect from a 100 proof Bourbon without sacrificing any of the smoothness. Perfect in a classic cocktail, as well as neat or on the rocks.

Nose: Caramel with hints of vanilla, oak & barley
Taste: Citrus on top of vanilla & black pepper
Finish: Warm, long & dry

What Richard Says
Nose: Big vanilla candy notes with a back of corn pudding.
Palate: Malt o Meal, burnt caramel, and cinnamon brown sugar oatmeal.
Finish: Lingering dryness.
Comments: Are you thinking about getting into bourbon? Are you wanting to trying out some classic and quintessential bourbons. Evan Williams Bottled in Bond should surely be on your list. It has great flavor and versatility. Not the greatest but classic.
Rating: Average