Kavalan at the Beluga Whisky Lounge

The perfect way to end a Wednesday! I was lucky enough to be invited to the beautifully relaunched Beluga in Cape Town for a vertical tasting of Kavalan, the jewel of Taiwan’s burgeoning spirits industry.

With a Taiwanese twist on the Old Fashioned to get us refreshed and recharged (featuring a healthy measure of Kavalan’s new Distiller’s Select) we sat down for the stars of the show – a range of masterfully composed expressions from the one-of-a-kind distillery.

The lineup:

No gentle introductions here, with the heavy hitting Kavalan King Car Conductor (46%) showing us what they’re made of. An excellently layered, fruity, powerful expression that reveals some truly remarkable blending and cask management.

On to the lighter style Kavalan Podium (46%), constructed with a selection of both ex-Bourbon (erring on wheat dominant rather than rye heavy mash bills) and virgin American oak casks. Highly drinkable stuff at 46% while remaining full bodied, oily and fragrant. Lovely!

For dessert, the appropriately porty Kavalan Concertmaster (43%) – my personal favourite of the core range. One of few whiskies to truly nail port maturation, brilliantly blended and a rich, unique experience that raises the eyebrows of even diehard Scotch drinkers.

And of course, one for the road… and a truly memorable one at that! Kavalan Solist ex-Bourbon (57.2%), part of Kavalan’s utterly world-class Solist single cask range. Bottled at a whopping cask strength and exploding with wave upon wave of floral vanilla and white chocolate. This one can take a beating with water or slowly sipped neat – a real treat!


A huge thanks to Roxanne and the team over at Beluga Restaurant – it was a real pleasure, with a lovely atmosphere in the whisky lounge and exceptional food. Beluga is increasingly the go-to haven for whisky lovers in the City Bowl, with a rock-solid and expansive bottle selection.

And of course big appreciation to Victor and the rest of team Kavalan for their wealth of knowledge, jovial conversation and generous pours! Looking forward to seeing what exciting new stuff Kavalan brings us in 2020 – cheers!

Join the Cape Whisky Club!

Every month the Cape Whisky Club hosts whisky lovers from all over the mother city to join in a shared whisky tasting. Anyone is welcome to join! If we like you, we’ll invite you to the private group and start sending you invitations for whisky tastings.

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