Kavalan Debuts Two Bordeaux-Aged Tenth-Anniversary Expressions - The Whiskey Wash

Kavalan Debuts Two Bordeaux-Aged Tenth-Anniversary Expressions

By Katelyn Best / January 2, 2019

Kavalan, the single malt juggernaut out of Taiwan, has released two limited-edition tenth-anniversary expressions, Kavalan Bordeaux Margaux and Kavalan Bordeaux Pauillac, both aged in barrels that once held Bordeaux wines, and both presented in gift box sets complete with a pair of glencairn glasses.

As the names suggest, the barrels were selected from the Margaux and Pauillac regions of France. “We were intrigued by the distinctive flavours that might be possible from this unique marriage between Kavalan, where we pursue perfection daily, and these prestigious chateaux known for their centuries of excellence,” said master blender Ian Chang in a prepared statement.

Kavalan 10th Anniversary Limited Editions, Kavalan Bordeaux Margaux and Kavalan Bordeaux Pauillac, fit together to complete the Roman numeral ‘X’ with a stylised passage of time running in an arc across their designs (image via Kavalan)

In the ten years since it opened, Kavalan has quickly become a giant in the single malt world, both in terms of sales and accolades. As we wrote two years ago, the distillery receives up to a million visitors each year—compared with the roughly 900,000 who visited all 19 distilleries on the Kentucky Bourbon Trail in 2015. The intense subtropical heat in Taiwan is said to accelerate the aging process, such that four years in the barrel at Kavalan is the equivalent of 10 or 12 years in Scotland.

Kavalan’s inaugural expression, Kavalan Classic Single Malt Whisky, debuted in December, 2008, and went on to become the distillery’s most popular whisky. Each of these tenth-anniversary expressions are priced at $285 and will hit shelves globally in 2019. The distillery’s tasting notes for both are below:

Kavalan Bordeaux Margaux Wine Cask Matured Single Cask Single Malt

Color: Deep Amber.

Nose: Beautiful aromatic caramel sauce infused with warming spices greets the nose. Thick, decadent dessert wine and simmering dark brown sugar emerge, followed by fresh fleshy fruit and gentle Cedarwood in the distance.

Palate: A warming sweet arrival leads to a melting of rich, buttery toffee that’s studded with plump raisins. A beautifully light sour plum wine now appears with a faint, but assertive nuttiness.

Finish: Long and incredibly rewarding. The sweetness mingles with the gentle tart notes to reward the drinker with a delightful dance of flavours on the tongue.

Kavalan Bordeaux Pauillac Wine Cask Matured Single Cask Single Malt

Color: Rich Mahogany

Nose: A beautiful nose of soft fruits, from ripe blackcurrants, to strawberries in syrup with a touch of apple. The wine influence is unmistakable. Smoked meat, cumin, ground coriander seeds, and finely grated pepper balance out the flavours.

Palate: Soft fruits drizzled with toffee, before an explosion of fruity flavours and accompanying spices. It is highly enjoyable at cask strength and develops a delicious vanilla creaminess as it is held in the mouth. It handles dilution extremely well at a variety of strengths.

Finish: Front of the mouth spiciness, cooked fruits, and throat-coating warmth.

About the author

Katelyn Best

Katelyn is a freelance writer in Portland, Oregon. She's a regular contributor to the Whiskey Wash with an affinity for the unique and weird side of whiskey.