Kavalan Solist

Overall rating
Whiskybase ID
Single Malt
Distillery Bottling
Bottling serie
Sherry Cask
Oloroso Sherry Cask
Number of bottles
57.8 % Vol.
700 ml
Added on
20 Apr 2015 3:06 pm by Gonathras
UncoloredNon-chillfilteredCask StrengthSingle Cask Whisky

Average value

€ 174.63

27 × in wishlist

103 × member ratings

120 × in collection

Whisky Reviews for Kavalan Solist

16 users have left a review for this whisky and scored it an average of 89.63 points

  1. hs305 scored this whisky 90 points Connoisseur

    [January, 2020] The Kavalan distillery on Taiwan operates in a tropical environment and therefore the whisky matures much much faster than in the moderate Scottish climate but the angel‘s share is much higher too (the same as with the Indian distilleries or the Caribbean rum distilleries). So it makes no sense to compare the age of such drams with the usual Scottish maturation times, e.g. a five years old Kavalan or Indian whisky compares to a 15-18 years old Scotch both in terms of maturation effects as well as volume losses in the casks (sometimes even higher). I am curious if this bottling confirms the above mentioned rule...

    ... and it does. This is a clean heavy first-fill sherry maturation at the edge of getting too wood-driven after five years already. There is not much left of the malt but the sherry is pretty fine and compensates for that easily. Very quaffable if you like sherry monsters with a chocolatey profile but I strongly advice to add some water because it really improves both the nosing and drinking experience greatly (a 2-3 points difference).
    • Nose
      88 88
      The colour is very dark at mahogany and the nose offers a clean modern sherry profile with strong but not (too) dominating wooden notes. I do not catch any malt-induced aromas in there but both the sherry and the wood team up for a delicious combo. The nose is quite punchy due to the high abv but some water takes this away and opens up the nose nicely. Water is essential on this nose, no doubt and it releases some malt aromas this way, finally.
    • Taste
      91 91
      The taste offers no malt impressions either but a fine mix of sherry and wood-driven flavours. Upon chewing it turns a little bitter on waxy notes and tannins, I think this dram cries for water.Ooh yes, now it gets interesting! The taste turns very chocolatey both on milk and dark notes with raisins, plums, oranges and more. This is good for additional three points so my score on this dimension goes up from 88 to astonishing 91 points. So do not fool yourself with a strict neat-only drinking and try a reduction to about 45-48% abv.
    • Finish
      90 90
      The dram arrives hot (57.8% abv) and coating on the palate with some bitter-astringent moments from heavy tannins. The finish is very long and adds interesting earthy and tobacco flavours. No distracting bitter or astringent impressions here, this was bottled right at the edge of getting too woody. After reduction the finish stays on the tasty chocolatey side virtually endless, wow - this is great (again a 2-3 points improvement over the neat dram).

  2. ASWhisky scored this whisky 92 points Connoisseur

    It is a latent floral note woven into sherry and oak from the nose to the finish the whisky kills something but he also delights through consistent notes and tension yes more of it
    yes, I'm in heaven
    • Nose
      intense damp old barrel (with a slightly gammeligen wood note)
      Sulfur, raisins,
      in the background a floral note
      furniture polish
      a lot of old leather
      some Erdal Rex shoe polish
      a very intense experience nose
      which creates a desire to drink
    • Taste
      in the mouth fierce but good
      he comes with dust, sulfur
      is immediately dark and aggressive
      he fills his mouth intensely
      with dark dried sherry
      Raisins, leather, waxy polish
      as if he were going to glue your mouth to you
      on the palate is the old moist, slightly gammelige oak
      heavy and dark
      he moves into your tongue and into your mouth
      his aromas dissolve for a long time
      like a perpetual sip
    • Finish
      long and intense
      The aromas dissolve and change with each swallow in your mouth
      first everything from the mouth
      then the aroma becomes like fermented black tea
      bitter and sweet Sweet bitter chocolate is coming
      in the background the big oak tree
      like a set design
      the oak has been soaked with dark old sherry a long time ago
      and again wet bittersweet tea leaves

  3. Mannix65 scored this whisky 90 points Connoisseur

    • Nose
      92 92
    • Taste
      90 90
    • Finish
      90 90

  4. Mannix65 scored this whisky 90 points Connoisseur

    Fantastic sherry bomb, incredible maturity for the short shelf life
    • Nose
      Dark chocolate, cranberries, red grape juice, raisins, or a rum-raisin nut-flavored liquid square chocolate. With water, the berry fruit of a red Grutze emerge, cherries, currants, but also raspberries.
    • Taste
      Sherry, sherry and sherry again. Nuts are added with water.
    • Finish
      Long dark berries with slight bitterness.

  5. didi1893 scored this whisky 91 points Connoisseur

    Wow, what a nose. Intense and powerful sherry massively stimulates salivation. The taste of the soloist is the hammer. Undiluted beat the extreme Eichennoten with full force on the palate. The sulphurous and sharp notes are not disturbing, they harmonize very well even with the extreme oak. The finish makes you hungry for the next sip.
    The Kalavan Soloist has long been on the wish list and was my first Taiwanese. I'm excited!
    • Nose
      Wonderful reddish, almost mahogany-colored drops slowly and oily return to the glass after panning. The rich, strong color whets the appetite for more. First, a wonderful aroma of dark fruits and milk chocolate flows out of the glass. Fruity and intense sherry flatters my nose. Fine wood notes mix with the well-integrated alcohol. The high alcohol content is absolutely not disturbing. A slight touch of coffee comes to the fore. A touch of leather and dates mixes with fruity sweetness. The salivation is stimulated, I want to finally try the Kalavan.
    • Taste
      Wow, what a sherry monster! Short comes Sherry to the fore, then the full load of wood hits. Massive, partly bitter oak flavors almost stun my taste buds. After a proper addition of water, the whisky opens. The wooden notes continue to dominate. Some fruit tries in vain to squeeze through a violent mist of sulfur and slightly pungent spice. Rust flavors, pepper and sharpness alternate with strong leather flavors and dark chocolate. The biting on the palate increases.
    • Finish
      Long and powerful, the finish exudes a chubby warmth with strong oak notes. Espresso and dark chocolate mix with the sometimes bitter oak tones. Slightly biting, the finish sounds pretty slow.

  6. Tommyknocker scored this whisky 91 points Expert Senior

    so what is that? How does that work, should not be older than 4 years, but such an intensity, unbelievable. Definitely no light food for just in between. A classic tasting killer, nothing works after that. Great, and much better than expected. If you want to criticize something then the sulfur note and the yet hefty Eichentanninfracht, here is: if he is too strong, you do not like sherry bombs.
    • Nose
      Pure: a sheer crushing intensity of sherry and wood freight. Heavy dark, almost rumartige sweetness mates with light sulfur and heavy spicy tannins, There are blackberries, sweet cherries, pure cocoa, Maggiwürze. Hot milk and butter give an extra kick. What a monster! With water: Now at the level of a heavy PX Glendronach. Still chocolate dominant, like the warm core of a fresh brownie. Plum jam with shot. Less spicy.
    • Taste
      Pure: as in the nose suspected a taste explosion without the same. A bit spicy, but then immediately maple syrup, chocolate sauce over hot raspberries with mousse made of dark chocolate. Unfortunately a trace of sulfur does not bother me, but there are people for whom this is a NoGo. With water: hardly less intense, now leatherier, dirtier. Tobacco and red wine sauce over roast beef.
    • Finish
      long, sticks to the cheeks, heavy oak but not too bitter.

  7. pilgrim77 scored this whisky 89 points Expert Senior

    Incredibly powerful, rich sherry dominates the nose (crystal clean sherry though, with none of the 'dirty' notes I sometimes get when sulphur is present). It must have been a fantastic cask! The underlying spirit is rather swamped, but when it does emerge (particularly after the addition of water) it brings some lovely youthful and zesty notes. In this regard it is very different to other (older) sherry bombs from Scottish distilleries, slightly lacking the additional depth and complexity that I associate with a longer-aged spirit from a sherry cask (e.g. Glendronach or some of the recent sherry cask bottles from Cadenhead). Beautifully balanced on the palate, with the youthful spirit bringing a lively delivery that then gives way to rich, smooth, creamy sherry. Sweet, creamy and fruity finish, again with the sherry notes to the fore. Excellent, high quality sherried dram, but I do slightly miss the additional complexity you get from longer aged Scotch equivalents (that can be picked up cheaper than this).

  8. Ed Radour scored this whisky 91 points Specialist

    • Nose
      90 90
    • Taste
      90 90
    • Finish
      91 91

  9. helmutgw scored this whisky 89 points Expert Senior

    + H2O: gets a little sweeter, the fruits come out + H2O: gets even more complex, this dram needs water! 09.12.2017 89
    • Nose
      A fresh, minty note hovers over fruit cake, candied fruit, and nutty.
    • Taste
      Alcoholic, becomes warm, too bitter and closed.
    • Finish

  10. gango4 scored this whisky 89 points Expert Senior

    In what kind of barrel was that again? Sherry, Sherry, Sherry
    • Nose
      The nose is dominated by dry sherry, earthy, not so sweet, not gummy at all. Very good. From alcohol only a very slight tickling! Wonderful. Berry.
    • Taste
      Very dry, dry, earthy with mouth. Raisins, many raisins. Extremely sherrylastic. With a little water the burning disappears completely, less dry and earthy. Still very dark plums and raisins. Oak has no influence.
    • Finish
      In the aftertaste only a very weak bitterness. Dark fruits with almost no wood.


Add tasting tags by clicking the flavours you recognized in this whisky.


Whiskybase is founded in 2007 with the goal to create the biggest resource of whisky information in the world. A community driven website built by and for whisky enthusiasts.  

Whiskybase B.V. 
Zwaanshals 530 
3035 KS Rotterdam 
The Netherlands 

KVK: 52072819
VAT: NL850288836B01

Copyright © 2021

Forgot your password?