If you put whisky and Taiwan in one sentence, chances are you are talking about Kavalan. But since 2008 the Nantou Distillery – a state owned company – also produces whisky and by now two of their bottles can be found in my neck of the woods: the Omar Bourbon and the Omar Sherry. Let’s give those a try, staring with the bourbon version.
The nose is rather closed and only after several minutes of hand warmth does it offer up some floral aromas, vanilla, sweet barley, white sugar, sweetened butter and the crust of a bread that was overbaked. Not bad, but far from good. Notes of acetone of wood glue ruin the experience for me.
The mouthfeel is somewhere between watery and oily. I would not have minded a little more body. It is light in taste, somewhat fresh and sweet on white (mostly apples) and loads of honey. Some spices kick in: pepper, nutmeg and ginger. A touch of oak. A grape pith bitterness.
I would classify the finish as medium long, but quite bitter and mildly dry.
An interesting alternative from Taiwain, but it still has a long way to go before it can compete with even a standard release from Kavalan. Unfortunately already 80 EUR, which is way too expensive for this whisky.