Kavalan King Car Conductor
I believe that this is the whisky of choice for Mr TT Lee; Chairman of King Car Group, and is the one whisky coming off the Kavalan stills that doesn’t carry the Kavalan name on the packaging.
It has been created to reflect many aspects of what he says the company stands for, and to present the drinker with a poetic reflection of Taiwan in its taste profile.
I think a lot of people overlook this whisky, instead, concentrating on the mighty Kavalan Solists (which are quite rightly, fantastic) However, the 'King Car Conductor' deserves a huge mention, a spotlight, and some time.
Appearance: Amber with lazy oily legs.
Nose: Tropical fruit and raisins. Vanilla custard, sweet toffee, and floral notes. (how do Kavalan manage to get this lovely floral element in?) New leather shoes, beeswax.
Palate: A geared-sweetness. By this I mean the sweetness that you taste at first is quite subtle, but then it increases in complexity and strength. Once the sweetness peaks, it gives way to a well-balanced and calm dry bitterness. Now the fruit element switches to banana, pear drops, rhubarb, and fragrant tropical notes. A very tame and gentle chilli-tingle wakes the mouth up a little and then subsides. It's absolutely spot on and extremely well balanced.
Finish: Medium-long. Spiced vanilla stays in the mouth and fades to a light bitter-dryness. The experience demands a repeat performance.
Conclusion: For me, this is the epitome of the stalwart. It sits in the shadow of many other whiskies in the Kavalan range, but sits there with absolute confidence without jumping up and down, because it knows it's damn good. I could (and will) put this at the front row for drinking on a regular basis. It ticks all sorts of boxes. Even opening the box to get the bottle out was an exciting and tactile experience. It was like opening up a Christmas present. This is around £60 - £70 a bottle (at the time of writing), and for the experience you get, is absolutely brilliant.