TAP’s Get Drunk at Home With: Kavalan Single Malt Whisky

While the Scottish Isles have long been the bastion of single malts, Asia has started to solidify its place as a premiere producer of fine whisky. Japanese whisky was all the rage last year as brands like Hibiki, Yamazaki and Nikka made its rounds. This year, however, belongs to Taiwan and its flagship single malt, Kavalan.

Fresh off being recognized as the World’s Best Single Malt Whisky for its Solist variant, Kavalan has started to find its way to bar shelves around the country. Of course, Kavalan has also found its way to the TAP office.

Accolades aside, when you first hear that a whisky was made in Taiwan, it doesn’t exactly inspire confidence. After all, this is the region of cheap labor and sweatshops. One sip of Kavalan, however, and all your preconceived notions melt away. This isn’t some shitty malt distillation made in a factory in Taoyuan. Kavalan is full bodied and complex with just the right level of sweetness.

KavalanDifferent people enjoy their whisky in different ways, but the ideal way to enjoy single malt that’s strong on the palate is neat with a little bit of water. The water helps “open up the bouquet” and unlock the aroma of the whisky. Once on the palate, you’ll notice a distinct sweetness that is reminiscent of your childhood gulaman amidst layers of vanilla and honey.

The sweetness of this single malt nicely cuts through the richness of savory food. One can enjoy Kavalan while eating a juicy cut of steak or a similar rich protein. For us though, Kavalan is best enjoyed before appetizers, during the main course and after dessert. Whether it’s a sit-down dinner setting or a casual get-together at a speakeasy, there’s no going wrong with this one.

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