TAIWAN IS NOW CONSIDERED A GLOBAL WHISKY POWERHOUSE
By Susan Lewis
Thirteen years after its first whisky distillery was established in 2006, Taiwan is now considered a global powerhouse of whisky production given the prestigious awards it has won in recent years, according to the Asia Times.
The Asia-wide online news media said that Taiwan’s proximity to large Asian markets, that have a growing taste for the drink, and the readily available funding sources are both advantages.
The first Taiwanese whisky distillery Kavalan was opened in 2006 and since then the island’s whisky producers have managed to gain success.
Nine years after Kavalan started distilling its first whiskies, one of its products - Kavalan Solist Vinho Barrique - was awarded the title of best single malt at 2015 World Whiskies Awards (WWA).
The bottle was praised by judges as being “surprisingly smooth” with a flavour reminiscient of “bourbon-infused milk chocolate”. They said the whisky has notes of fruit cake, clove, cinnamon, fudge, marzipan and walnut, but is “integrated and surprisingly light”.
In 2016, Kavalan’s Solist Amontillado Sherry Single Cask Strength was named world’s best single cask single malt whisky by WWA.
In 2017, the Solist Ex-Bourbon Single Cask Strength was awarded a trophy at the International Spirits Challenge.
There are two whisky producers in Taiwan, the Yilan-based privately-owned Kavalan and the Nantou-based state-owned Taiwan Tobacco & Liquor Corporation (TTL).
Kavalan is part of the King Car Group, a food and logistics business with an estimated annual turnover between USD500m to 1 billion, the distillery has an annual production of 9 million bottles.
TTL was previously a government monopoly on tobacco and liquor products, it has its own distilling facilities capable of producing different spirit categories. It started to produce Omar brand single malt from its Nantou distillery in 2008.
Both of the two distilleries are well funded, the island’s subtropical climate has helped too. With the whisky maturing two to three times faster than it does in Scotland or Ireland, both producers can release their products to the market faster, and less cash is tied up in inventory.
However, the warm and humid climate means a higher evaporation loss of about 5% to 10%, compared to 2% to 3% for Scotch and Irish whiskies.
(the writer can be contacted at: SusanLewis@thewinechronicle.com)
**IF YOU THINK THE WINE CHRONICLE IS WORTH SUPPORTING, PLEASE MAKE A DONATION TO HELP US IMPROVE AND CONTINUE OUR WORK**
TRENDING│ FOCUS│ SERVICES│ ABOUT US│ CONTACT