Ohhh, you should have seen his face light up, loungers. Even the follicular mass on his chin seemed to have a glow about it when the package arrived! Eddie Ludlow reduced to little more than an excitable schoolboy by the arrival of an unusually large parcel received at TWL HQ from Taiwan.

I had to ask, in my now traditional sarcasm laden, thickest Geordie twang…

  • “What’s that, like? Your piles playing up again?”

His answer – as dead pan as you like…

  • “Think you’re funny? Look at this…”

Whoa… a 1500mil Crystal Decanter complete with a crown stopper, housed in a leather presentation case featuring a mountain-scape design that looked, frankly, too posh for the office!

On further inspection, this most salubrious arrival was sent by the lovely folks from Kavalan. And its contents, specially chosen to mark the 40th anniversary of the King Car Group (their parent company). So, my next question, obviously….

  • “You opening it, then?”

And – unsurprisingly – my close, personal friend, generous to a fault, overwhelmingly giving individual, the one and only Mr Eddie Ludlow DC KoQ WCD esquire, replied…

  • “Not for you I’m not, you t**t! There’s a sample here, you can have a bit of that to review for the blog”.

All joking aside folks, this is a BIG DEAL, there’s not a lot of this stuff around. It’s only available in selected countries “In 2020”, from a rare Cabernet Sauvignon cask. As far as I can tell, there’s none to be had in the UK at all.

I make no secret of the fact that I consider myself a very luck guy. Right now, I am very much, just that!

Here’s what I thought of it….

Kavalan King Car 40th Anniversary Single Cask               

ABV – 56%
Not Yet Available
Maturation – Cabernet Sauvignon


Glowing Amber


This is rich and expressive, initial toffee, sweet French pastries, demerara sugar and very slight cedar wood are washed over with layers of dark berries, blueberry, bramble, stewed plumb and a slight burnt caramel note.


Great balance with the nose, deep and thick black berry preserve with a slight dusting of icing sugar, cinder toffee with – once more – notes of brunt caramel. Stick with it and you’re rewarded with a fresher melon and some grapefruit before the luxurious char binds all together.


Medium to long, initially with the deeper oaky flavours, however they don’t overpower the complexity of the spirit, the silky luxurious rich flavours we’ve already had are all still showing.


This is excellently made and brilliantly executed whisky. Not for the faint of heart, but of strong standing and its expressive nature shines throughout.

Now, if you’ve been here before, you might be waiting for me to comment on the use of a “Wine Cask”. In the past I have not been a fan of their use, and, where I’ve enjoyed whiskies from wine they have tended to come from very expressive – usually peated – base spirit.

Has this Kavalan convinced me that there is a more permanent place for wine cask maturation in whisky?

I think I’ll have another and mull it over….

Thanks for popping in again folks!

See you soon!