The Kavalan Concertmaster Port Cask Finish uses Portuguese ruby, tawny and vintage Port wine casks to finish the whisky after it’s signature single malt has undergone it’s first stint of aging in American oak casks and is a very interesting whisky to taste. On one hand it has a variety of flavors and scents, and definitely isn’t boring. On the other hand it’s kind of all over the place ranging from sweet to earthy and back again and all in all it ended up being my second least favorite from the Kavalan tasting.
The use of the 4 different casks makes me wonder about consistency and I can’t help but wonder if I got another if I would be either earthier or sweeter than this one. Either direction would have been nice, but as it is this one just left me feeling a bit confused and nonplussed. Overall it didn’t feel very balanced with the sweet bordering on too sweet, the port bordering on overwhelming and the earthy malty notes not fully compensating. However, it was interesting enough that I would leap at the chance to try it again and see how it fares the second time around.
If you’ve tried this interesting tipple from Taiwan I would love to hear your thoughts.
Kavalan Single Malt Concertmaster Port Cask Review
Price: $70 – $95 (online)
Distiller: King Car / Kavalan
It’s rather obvious, but the port comes on strong in the initial nose followed by something more akin to sherry. This combo is accompanied by dark berries and some tropical citrus which I find just a bit off putting here. Bumping up against these scents are hints of mint, sweet tobacco, vanilla, and something dark and earthy.
Just like with the scent the port comes out swinging for the fences accompanied by a tart fruitiness that reminds me of a grapple. Though unlike the nose the tropical citrus tastes more like artificial coconut and there are some interesting notes of almonds, bit o’honey candy, gummy bears, and just a hint of mint.
Being only a 40% ABV I was a bit surprised about how bitey it was.
The initial aftertaste is all soft malt and sweet tobacco followed up with cinnamon and mango. Like all the other Kavalans it’s dry as hell.
SCORE: 8X/100 – Didn’t get to spend enough time with it to feel confident about a score, but would place it in the mid to low 80s. The port was just too strong and the sweetness bordering on cloying.