GSN Presents: The 2017 Advent Gift Guide – Day 23

With only two days to go until Christmas Eve, there’s not enough time to order gifts.  So, until then, we’re going to suggest some items that we’ve rated highly this year that you can find in your local liquor store (hopefully).  For Day 23, we’re focusing on the 30 spirited products that received a GSN Rating of A (93) during 2017.

  1. Amarula Cream Liqueur
  2. Corbin Cash Sweet Potato Liqueur
  3. Deadhead Dark Chocolate Rum
  4. Don Ciccio & Figli Nocino Walnut Liqueur
  5. Don Ciccio & Figli Amaro delle Sirene
  6. Dunedin DoubleCask 16 Year Old
  7. Elijah Craig Barrel Proof Batch No. A117
  8. Elijah Craig Barrel Proof Batch No. B517
  9. Elijah Craig Barrel Proof Batch No. C917
  10. El Tesoro 80th Anniversary Limited Edition
  11. Frisco Brandy
  12. Galliano L’Aperitivo
  13. Haikara Yuzu Sake
  14. Highland Park Valkyrie
  15. Hirsch Small Batch 8 Year Old High Rye Straight Bourbon Whiskey
  16. Jura 10-Year Old Single Malt Scotch Whisky
  17. Kavalan Pedro Ximénez Single Cask Whisky
  18. Laphroaig Cairdeas Quarter Cask 2017 Edition
  19. Lucid Absinthe
  20. The Macallan Edition No. 1
  21. The Macallan Edition No. 2
  22. Tap 357 Maple Rye Whisky
  23. Marble Distilling Co. Vodka
  24. Marble Distilling Co. Gingercello
  25. McKenzie Single Barrel Rye Whiskey
  26. Montanya Exclusiva Rum
  27. Redemption Wheated Bourbon
  28. South Island 25 Year Old Single Malt
  29. Union Horse Rolling Standard Four Grain Whiskey
  30. Westland Distillery’s 2017 Peat Week Commemorative Bottling

GSN Review: Kavalan Pedro Ximénez Single Cask Whisky

Kavalan, which means “flatland people,” is named after the Taiwanese aboriginal ethnic group that originally inhabited modern-day Yilan County, where the Kavalan distillery resides. The warm sub-tropical climate of Taiwan ensures the whiskies mature faster than their Scottish, American and Japanese counterparts. Yilan was selected for its abundant supply of cold spring water flowing through the Central and Snow Mountain ranges and for its proximity to the Pacific Ocean resulting in ocean mists and mountain winds circulating around each cask. Master Blender Ian Chang has quickly established a reputation for his innovative incorporation of various types of wood casks.  Accounting for the tastes of Taiwanese drinkers, Kavalan whiskies boast fruitier flavor profiles, thanks to modifications such as stainless steel fermentation tanks, oil-based fuel instead of peat, and ex-sherry, port and bourbon barrels for aging; all Kavalan whiskies are non-chill filtered and natural in color.

Single cask, hand bottled at cask strength. The new make spirit that matures in PX Sherry casks produces distinctive rich flavors and a classic fruity, nutty aroma. PX Sherry wines are produced using at least 85% of their namesake grape varietal and are particularly sweet in style. However, as they grow older they also gain a rich acidity, conveying elegance in flavor. The used PX casks impart a beautifully rich profile to this expression.

Kavalan Pedro Ximénez Single Cask Whisky (111.2 proof)
Visual: Orange-brown.
Nose: A light, yet direct sherry nose with a touch of ripe grape on the nose. Some spice, some florality and a softly reticent malt body.
Taste: Quite sweet and sherry forward with a unidirectional flavor palette. This is simply a whisky that knows what it wants to be and heads in that singular direction.  As the minutes progress, more of the vine fruit character comes out, leaving the malt flavor trying to play catch up.
Finish: Medium long with more sherry character than expected taking the lead. Amazingly, the fruit hangs on for well over ten minutes.
Overall: I’m reminded of early 20th century libations served to heads of state and dignitaries. An excellent dry dessert-like whisky that begs for toasting a special occasion.
GSN Rating: A

For more information go to: Kavalan Whisky