Right off the bat a major redeeming factor was Kavalan’s use of Port casks. I know I have a bias towards whisky kept in sweet barrels, and apparently they use Tawny Port, Ruby Port, and older Port casks from Portugal, which automagically makes me a happy camper. However, we know that this is young whisky from the lack of age statement, so I was expecting some harshness to come through. But how will the sweetness of the Port balance the harshness of the new spirit, I wondered?
Apricots, honey, sun dried dates, and spices bombarded my brain while tasting this. There is a spicy custardy richness to it, reminiscent of Christmas cakes soaked in brandy. And once water was added, most of the spice goes away and you’re left with sweet creamy nectar of the gods.
It blew my mind that it has no age statement, and I’m glad I only had a small bottle, because I would very quickly have an expensive habit of drinking this.
I give it all the points I can, 5 out of 5.
Do I like the Kavalan Concertmaster? Yes I do! Do I like it because Kavalan and my name both begin with a K? Nope. I like it cause it’s good.
Full bodied. Explosion of tastes. Complicated.These are all ways in which I described the whisky when drinking it neat. While the name Concertmaster doesn’t refer to a particular concert, you can rest assured it tastes more like a symphony than a country song. Sadly, it loses some of the complexity when you add the water and then becomes a bit more simple. I also really like the fruity flavours and there is a definite hint of apricot there. This is a really solid whisky that I would be happy to show my whisky snob friends. Just kidding, I don’t have any friends but I totally would show it off I did.