Last fall, a Japanese whisky beat out dozens of brands, including historic Scottish distilleries, to be named the world’s best by whiskey expert and aficionado Jim Murray in his annual Whisky Bible.
Now, a single malt from Taiwan has bested over 300 of the world’s finest by taking home the coveted top prize at the 2015 World Whiskies Awards.
Kavalan Solist Vinho Barrique is produced by King Car distillery in Yilan County in Taiwan. The whisky is aged in American oak barrels previously used to hold red and white wines, supposedly imparting a smooth yet distinct flavor.
The World Whiskies Award website sings the single malt’s praises by calling it “Surprisingly smooth on the palate." With an array of diverse flavors like fruit cake, clove, dry cinnamon, walnut, caramel, marzipan, fudge and half a dozen other food-centric essences, the complex spirit still manages to be "surprisingly light," according to tasting experts.
In 2012, Kavalan was named New Whisky of the year by Murray’s Whisky Bible and has also received numerous global accolades.
As far as whiskies go, it won’t break the bank but certainly isn’t cheap A 750ml bottle of Kavalan retails for about $130.