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Kavalan’s Surprise Honour by Japanese Whisky Elite

July 10, 2020 Beverage No Comments Email Email


In an unexpected outcome, Kavalan’s Solist Vinho Barrique has topped a gruelling blind tasting by prestigious Japanese judges in search of the world’s best single malt.

To find the Tokyo Whisky & Spirits (TWSC) Competition’s “Best of the Best,” 128 single malts were whittled down to the best 14 contenders, which were assessed again by 13 select judges.

In the final ranking, Kavalan placed first, second, and third.

TWSC2020 Best of the Best Top 10 Single Malts

  1. Kavalan Solist Vinho Barrique (Best of the Best)
  2. Kavalan Solist Ex-Bourbon Cask
  3. Kavalan Solist Oloroso Sherry Cask
  4. The Essence of Suntory Whisky Yamazaki Distillery Refill Sherry Cask
  5. Komagatake 1991 28 Years Old Single Cask No.160
  6. The Essence of Suntory Whisky Yamazaki Distillery Montilla Wine Cask
  7. Tomatin 30 Years Old
  8. Kavalan Solist Fino Sherry
  9. Glenfiddich 21 Years Old
  10. Glenfiddich 18 Years Old Small Batch Reserve

In addition, Kavalan scooped “World Distillery of the Year” and “World Single Malt – NAS” for its Solist Oloroso Sherry.

CEO Mr Y.T. Lee said the results were humbling and completely unexpected.

“We are honoured to have been judged in this way by the prestigious Japanese whisky industry,” Mr Lee said.

Mamoru Tsuchiya, Chair of the TWSC Executive Committee, said: “This year’s results once again represent a strong showing from Taiwan, such as Kavalan … Taiwan has demonstrated their whisky-making prowess.”

Kavalan received the most Superior Golds given to individual whiskies, clinching three of only eight.

Best of the Best

  • Kavalan Solist Vinho Barrique

Best World Distillery of the Year

  • Kavalan Distillery

World Single Malt Whisky Category Winner – NAS

  • Kavalan Solist Oloroso Sherry

3 Superior Gold

  • Kavalan Solist Vinho Barrique
  • Kavalan Solist Ex-Bourbon
  • Kavalan Solist Oloroso Sherry

8 Gold

  • Kavalan Concertmaster Port Cask Finish
  • Kavalan Concertmaster Sherry Finish
  • Distillery Reserve Peaty Cask
  • Distillery Reserve Rum Cask
  • Kavalan King Car Conductor
  • Kavalan Oloroso Sherry Oak
  • Kavalan Solist Fino Sherry
  • Kavalan Solist Port

Judges were selected from an elite group of Masters of Whisky, Whisky instructors, famous bartenders from throughout Japan, spirits industry importers, sellers, makers, and journalists.



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