Taiwan whisky beats Scotch to top award

A TAIWANESE whisky has seen off global competition to be crowned the best single malt at the 2015 World Whiskies Awards.

Kavalan Solist Vinho Barrique won the top award. Picture: masterofmalt.com
Kavalan Solist Vinho Barrique won the top award. Picture: masterofmalt.com

Kavalan Solist Vinho Barrique, produced by the King Car distillery in Yilan, is matured in American oak casks previously used to hold red and white wines before being re-toasted.

The World Whiskies Award describes the Kavalan Solist Vinho Barrique as ‘surprisingly smooth on the palate’ and ‘like Bourbon-infused milk chocolate’.

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The tasting notes also say: “Water brings out custard creams. Another nutty, meaty, savoury nose, with sweet notes in the backdrop.

“Very sweet pruney flavours initially on the palate, with fruit cake and big clove, chilli and dry cinnamon.”

It was revealed last week that the Chinese drink more alcohol per person than Britain or America.

The whisky, which has a 58.6 per cent ABV has already picked up a number of awards including New Whisky of the Year in the 2012 Whisky Bible.

Whisky bible author Jim Murray wrote about Kavalan: “Good whisky is, without question, a work of art; great whisky is a tone poem. And here, I beg to insist, is proof.”

It wasn’t all doom and gloom for Scottish whisky, however, with ‘Darkness!’ winning the award for best grain whisky and Master of Malt Speyside Whisky Liqueur 40 Years Old winning the World’s Best Flavoured Whisky gong.

Japan’s Nikka Teketsura Pure Malt was crowned the World’s Best Blended Malt for the second consecutive year.

There were also wins for whiskies from Ireland, Sweden, France, South Africa, the United States and Australia.

The World Whisky Awards, founded in 2007, are held by Whisky Magazine and attracted over 300 entrants this year vying for the top award.

A 700ml bottle of Kavalan can be bought at Tesco, Waitrose or online grocer Ocado for about £40.