Kavalan distillery’s first global release of 2019 has today hit the bars and shelves in Taiwan, with a global roll-out to follow.

The Kavalan Concertmaster Sherry Finish at 40% ABV is the second whisky in the Concertmaster range, double matured in Spain’s finest Sherry casks after ageing in the distillery’s special reserve of refill casks.

Master Blender Ian Chang said Concertmaster Sherry Finish underwent a two-part ageing process. The first round of long maturation in the distillery’s high-quality American oak refill casks allows the purity and fruitiness of Kavalan’s distillery spirit to develop, while lending the whisky its delicate aromas.

The second part involves finishing in Sherry-seasoned American oak casks, which gives the whisky its complexity of layers and further brings out the depth of flavours made possible in Taiwan’s unique subtropical climate.

“Just like our first Concertmaster, the finishing in Sherry casks mellows out the flavours, adds depth and multiple layers, and locks in an incredible softness to the whisky,” Mr Chang said.

The first Concertmaster in the range has a Portuguese ruby port cask finish. The “concertmaster” is an orchestra’s lead violinist and revered as the most highly skilled player on stage. Kavalan’s Concertmaster Series expertly blends and tunes the aromas and flavours in its whisky to create indefinable depth and balance.

The “Long Story Short” cocktail based on the Vesper Martini replaces the vodka ingredient with Kavalan’s Concertmaster Sherry Finish, which has a signature depth of tropical fruits overlaid with sweet dried fruits and savoury nuttiness.

Kavalan CEO Mr Lee described the whisky as highly elegant, rich and silky smooth, with notes of dark dry fruits and savoury nuttiness. He said the newly opened Kavalan Whisky Bar in Taipei had created a special cocktail for the launch of the Concertmaster Sherry Finish.

“It’s based on the iconic Bond Vesper Martini, except that our head bartender Shane Lin has replaced the vodka in the recipe with Concertmaster Sherry Finish. This adds fruitiness and gives it more depth and body,” Mr Lee said.

Lin was inspired by the new whisky’s clean, pure and well-rounded profile. The cocktail he has created is sharp and refreshing. Its name, “Long Story Short” refers to the cocktail’s effectiveness. Just what you’d expect of a 007-influenced drink.

Long Story Short
30ml Kavalan Concertmaster Sherry Finish
15ml Kavalan Gin
15ml Cocchi Americano
15ml Noilly Prat extra dry vermouth
Twist of lemon for garnish

Concertmaster Sherry Finish – Tasting Notes

Colour: Pale apricot

Nose: Begins with a soft bouquet of sweet vanilla and toffee accompanied in the background by subtle, silky chocolate and layers of crème brûlée, made satisfyingly complex with rich, ripe dark fruits and walnut and almond nuttiness continuing onto the tongue.

Palate: Round, thick mouthfeel dominated by a dense burst of this series’ signature taste – seductively luscious tropical fruits – elegantly balanced and lingering long on the finish.