March 27 2024  |  Spirits & Tobacco

Kavalan debuts travel retail exclusive Master's Select Reserve No. 1 and No. 2

By Hibah Noor

Kavalan introduces its travel retail-exclusive Master's Select Reserve No.1 and Master's Select Reserve No.2 single malt whiskies which celebrate Taiwan's natural bounty

Kavalan, the distillery which has been pioneering the art of single malt whisky in Taiwan since 2005, has launched two travel retail-exclusive expressions.

Master's Select Reserve No. 1 combines ex-Bourbon barrels and lightly peated STR (scraped, toasted and recharred) casks while Master's Select Reserve No. 2 marries ex-Port barriques with lightly peated STR casks.

STR casks are treated using the Taiwanese distiller’s Shave-Toast-Rechar technique to unlock flavors hidden in the oak's deep layers.

Master’s Select Reserve No. 1 offers a harmony of fruity sweetness with a warm, gentle peaty and nutty essence while Master’s Select Reserve No. 2 has intense aromas of dark berries and stone fruits melded together. Both express the essence of Kavalan and highlight the exceptional craftsmanship and barrel selection of the distiller’s skilled blending team.

According to Kavalan, the double launch in April of one-liter Master’s Select Reserve No. 1 and No. 2 (USD$110, 40%ABV) will take advantage of a rapidly recovering international travel world, “a post-COVID retail travel market that prioritizes quality over quantity”.

Zerose Yang, Kavalan Senior Blender, said, “We had such a great response to our Kavalan Artist Series, that we created the Master’s Select. Our STR technique improves the whisky's body, making our flavors more robust, rounded, and smooth. Master’s Select Reserve No. 1 ex-bourbon flavors and its lightly peaty character harmonize well with vanilla and buttery flavors. Master’s Select No. 2 combines the port berry aromas of the ex-Port casks with a hint of peat, enhancing the depth of the robust wine cask style.”

The whiskies will launch in South Korea, Singapore, India, Vietnam and Hong Kong this year, followed by other Asian airport duty free shops. The newly developed duty free shop at Bahrain International Airport will also feature the whiskies.

Master’s Select Reserve No. 1 has a Golden Sunrise color. On the nose, a delicate peat aroma with a hint of saltiness perfectly complements the sweetness. On the palate, cream and vanilla lead, unveiling notes of caramelized crème brûlée a honey sweetness, followed by pineapple, apple, and lemon pound cake aromas to create a rich, full-bodied, and “refreshingly tantalizing” experience.

Master’s Select Reserve No. 2 has a Toasty Sunlight color. On the nose, gentle peaty and nutty notes, while the palate offers longan and red date tea, accompanied by nutty woody spiciness. Following closely are the rich fruity aromas of grapes, berries, cherries, plums, and red apples, akin to a luscious warmth and a sweet nectar.

The Master's Select Reserve packaging echoes Taiwan's Snow Mountain Range in a tribute to the rich, lingering aromas of the single malt whisky.

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