Number four in the Kavlan tasting and the biggest problem for me with this one is the price. Online it’s fetching $300+ and for that price there are a slew of other whiskies I would rather have. That’s not to say that this isn’t a decent whisky, it certainly has unique facets that make it delicious in it’s own right, but it’s just not $300+ good in my book. I would much rather have the Solist Vinho Barrique or the Solist ex-Bourbon for a fraction of the cost.
For my palate the sherry in this one was just a bit too much and I found myself thinking that if I wanted to drink sherry I would just reach for one of the sherry bottles I have in my liquor rack and not for a top shelf whisky. All in all it’s not a bad whisky and if you get the chance to try it, without paying an arm and a leg, I would highly recommend you do. Especially if you’re the type of whisky drinker who loves heavily sherried whisky as you’ll probably love this one. However, once these hit American shores I will definitely be passing on it in lieu of it’s tastier, and cheaper, brethren.
Kavalan Single Malt Solist Fino Sherry Cask Review
Price: $350 – $440 (online)
Distiller: King Car / Kavalan
Light caramel with some ruby hints to it
The initial sniffy sniff was astringent and burned while filling the nostrils with a very potent sherry. After letting it breathe a bit I came back to it and easily picked up strawberries, cherries and an intense dark fruit that held a strong line through the whole scent. There was also some caramel and a touch of vanilla and citrus that were wafting around in the glass.
It’s going to sound very obvious to say this, but it tasted like sherry. So much so that on the first sip that’s really all I could taste at first. Second sip was a slightly different story though and the sherry gave a bit of ground to some very delightful pepper, cinnamon, and apples. Even though the flavor of a sweet sherry underpinned the entire palate there was some fantastic notes of oak and spice that were riding shotgun alongside it.
This one was smoother than I was expecting given it’s whopping 58.6% ABV, but it definitely had it’s rough patches and numbed my tongue a bit.
The finish was incredibly dry. It was the driest of the lot, but was a very flavorful finish with lots of sweet sherry, dark fruit , and sugared grains sitting alongside the dryness
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 80s. I know Jim Murray rated it MUCH higher, but to each their own.