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August 19, 2017

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Distillery eyes Taiwan as new home to whisky

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- Riding the success of its Kavalan whisky in a recent blind taste test in Scotland organized by an English newspaper, Taiwan's King Car Group is striving to promote its whisky brands around the globe, a company executive said.

Speaking at a new brand presentation, Chang Ming-chih, the head of King Car's whisky distillery, said the company looks forward to helping build Taiwan into a new home of quality whiskies.

"Our whiskies have been marketed in China and have also been sold in Germany through trade fairs," said Chang, who indicated that the company intends to draw from its soft drink marketing experience to promote its whiskies worldwide.

Chang said many foreign spirits distributors have approached the company since its Kavalan brand beat off the challenge of four three-year-old Scotch whiskies in a blind taste test in Leith, Scotland organized by London-based daily The Times.

At present, the world's top five centers of whisky are Scotland, Ireland, the United States, Canada and Japan.

"We hope our whisky distillery will make Taiwan the world's sixth largest whisky producing country," Chang said.

Though the Kavalan brand has yet to gain a big market share in Taiwan, its distillery has been operated like a tourism farm, with the number of visitors exceeding 1 million.

"All the visitors are witness to our product quality," Chang said proudly. "We now only market the top-quality brands. If market response is good, we will market more high-quality brands."

The distillery's annual production now reaches 9 million bottles.

The Kavalan whisky is distilled by Yilan County-based King Car Group. Since being first marketed in December 2008, the distilled spirit has won many honors, including a silver medal in the SWSC world contest last March and another silver medal in the International Wine and Spirit Competition last July.

Thanks to the Kavalan brand's growing international fame, the Malt Whisky Yearbook included Taiwan in its list of emerging whisky production areas in its 2010 edition for the first time.

King Car spokesman, Ma Ming-hao, said Tuesday the two-year-old whisky was produced with quality water from Taiwan's Central Mountain range and Syueshan Mountain with Scottish distilling technology.

According to Ma, the Kavalan blend exudes an intriguing aroma composed of flowers and fruits. "Its flavor is a mixture of honey, mango, green apple, vanilla, pear, coconut and chocolate," he said.

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