Kavalan Single Malt Whisky – Concertmaster – Port Finish

Taiwan – 40%ABV – 200ml sample (thanks to Ian Chang of Kavalan for the sample)

For the next three days, Gal of Whisky Israel and I will be sharing our thoughts on the Kavalan range.  While I’m not tasting these whiskies blindly, Gal and I will not be sharing our thoughts on these whiskies prior to our posting them.  Be sure to check out Gal’s notes on this whisky (a link to Gal’s review is listed below my notes).

Before I got into whiskies, I was a true lover of port and madeira wines.  The fruity spice of port and the earthiness of madeira turned me on like a light bulb.

Being a portaphile – I just made this word up and would hate to utter it aloud as port-a-phile sounds like something else entirely…

Ok, moving on.  Loving port & madeira like I do, I often find myself seeking out whiskies which are finished in these types of casks (such as the Balvenie 17yr Madeira Cask or the Angel’s Envy Bourbon).  When I opened up my sample package from Mr. Chang, I was excited to see a port finished whisky from Kavalan.

So, let’s dig in.  Can you dig?

On the nose Lightly spiced with wafts of mangos.

Spices come back – cinnamon & nutmeg.

Fresh pears and over ripe pineapples.

A youthful nose with some hints of mushrooms and soured milk – earthy.

Pencil shavings.

On the mouth Hits you hard with loads of spice.

Lightly sweet – watered down pear juice.

Good mouth feel but the flavors are a bit elusive.

Buttered rye bread.

A touch of honey.

Oh, actually, there’s a lot of honey here.

Finish Wheat biscuits, side of honey and butter, shortish.

In sum An enjoyable nose on this whisky.  The fruitiness was a welcome thing.  I was a bit let down by the flavor side of this – a touch off balance (or maybe I’m a bit off balance here!) from the nose and, quite honestly, I was hoping for a bit more from the flavor/palate.  The finish was quite nice just a bit too short.

Make sure you read Gal’s notes here.

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