Kavalan Whiskies differ greatly, having various cask profiles such as Sherry, ex-Bourbon, Fino, and Vinho Barrique. They are highly awarded and quite elusive. In 2015, Kavalan Solist Vinho Barrique was crowned the "World’s Best Single Malt Whisky" at the World Whiskies Awards in 2015.
Kavalan -- named after the land of Yilan, Taiwan -- produces ten million bottles annually at its facility with mountain views. The upstart brand managed to beat British labels at a blind tasting in January during Burns Night festivities, which celebrates the poet Robert Burns.
Kavalan Distillery is located at the boundary of Yi-Lan Mountains overlooking the Pacific Ocean. The plan for the distillery was initiated in 2002, and construction was finished in 2005 in just 9 months. The first Whisky ran through the spirit safe in 2006.
In December 2008, the first bottle of Kavalan single Malt was released and they had great success. From 2009 to 2011 the distillery came out with new expressions of Kavalan. In 2011, a new King Car Whisky was introduced as King Car Conductor.
By 2016, between the master blender and the distillery itself, there were over 100 awards won in the name of Whisky. The water is acquired from the Snow and Central Mountains. The barley is imported from Scotland.
There is a copper mash tun that goes through the mashing process for 8 hours. The washbacks are stainless steel.
There are three rounds of fermentation in Kavalan Distillery. One for 10 hours with a core fermenter to produce massive amounts of alcohol, and the other for 20 hours with a yeast called "fruit producer."
A final round of lactic fermentation for 30 hours completes the cycle. There are 4 pot stills in the distillery, and the Whisky ages in Bourbon, Sherry, Fino casks in a 5 story warehouse.
The distillery is named Kavalan after the old name of Yilan county where it is located.
The distillery, which went operational just a decade ago, has been racking up a plethora of awards in recent years and getting nods from some of the world’s top single-malt connoisseurs.
In 2012, the acclaimed guide Jim Murray’s Whisky Bible named Kavalan’s Solist Fino Sherry Cask malt the “new whisky of the year.”