World’s best single-malt whiskey not Irish or Scottish: it’s from Taiwan

Award-winning whiskey ‘like bourbon-infused milk chocolate’

Kavalan Solist Vinho Barrique

Kavalan Solist Vinho Barrique

 

Taiwan is probably better known for its semiconductors and its complicated relationship with mainland China than it is for its liquor.

Think again. According to the World Whiskies Awards (WWA), the best single-malt whiskey in the world is the Kavalan Solist Vinho Barrique, produced by the King Car distillery in Taiwan’s Yilan county.

“Lots of stewed fruits on the nose. There’s also aged bourbon notes,” the WWA said. “Water brings out custard creams. Surprisingly smooth on the palate. The alcohol is very present. It’s like bourbon-infused milk chocolate.” The tipple is aged in American oak barrels that previously stored wine.

The King Car distillery came on stream only in 2005 but, according to the Master of Malt website, the warm subtropical climate means the whiskey matures more quickly in Taiwan.

There was some good news for Irish whiskey in the awards, including the award of best pot still whiskey to Redbreast Single Pot Still 15 Years Old from New Midleton Distillery.

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