Whiskey's Newest Island

World class scotch-style whiskey from Taiwan

Ingalls Photography

Taiwan is among the world's top scotch-consuming nations, so it's natural that a local would try to produce his own. But nine years ago, when T. T. Lee launched Kavalan Distillery, he discovered that the balmy East Asian climate aged his whiskey too rapidly for it to develop nuanced flavors. Lee adapted, fermenting his mash in stainless steel rather than Scotland's traditional wood, and then barrel-aging his whiskeys for a mere three years. Kavalan King Car Conductor ($120), a velvety single malt perfumed with vanilla and passion fruit, offers hints of caramel and toasted hazelnuts that yield to green apple and fresh-cut grass. It's a homegrown bottle that does this scotch-loving island proud.