Taiwan has long been a huge market for the Scotch industry and in 2008 it’s first native Whisky was released.
Kavalan Soloist was the first release from the Kavalan Distillery in the Yilan County. The distillery and its produce are called after the indigenous people of the area, and the area they are based in.
The distillery itself is the first and only distillery in Taiwan, but since it has been so successful, this might all change.
Feeling the Heat
It began distilling in 2005 and released its first malt in 2008. While this may seem young, three years being the legal limit on how long a Scotch Whisky has to have matured in order for it to be called Whisky, the tropical climate in Taiwan means it matures faster.
The heat and humidity of the country means the Whisky matures at a higher rate than in somewhere like Scotland, while maintaining a high quality product.
This is evidenced in the fact that Kavalan have won a vast number of accolades in the Whisky world, including Jim Murray’s New World Whisky of the Year in 2012and World’s Best Single Malt Whisky at the World Whisky Awards in 2015.
These are only a drop in the ocean of awards won by Kavalan, and it would not be surprising if there were many more to come.
The success of Kavalan is down to their high quality ingredients and also the fact that they can produce Whisky of the same quality as 10 or 12 year old Scotch in only a fraction of the time.
Typical Taiwanese Flavour Profile
Taiwanese malt tends to be very fruity, with lots of tropical fruits such as mango and pineapple coming through. It is sweet and full of flavour, with lots of complexity to it. The body tends to be light and there is lots of rich vanilla and oak wood.