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2022年的World Whiskies Awards (WWA)結果揭曉，台灣威士忌再次橫掃大獎，成為全球威士忌注目的新星。台灣威士忌迅速崛起，成為亞洲成熟得最快的製酒強權，快速熟成的背後有什麼秘密？
Taiwanese whisky has once again dominated the World Whiskies Awards (WWA) in 2022, making it a rising star in the global whisky scene. Taiwan has rapidly become the fastest-growing spirit powerhouse in Asia, but what's the secret behind its fast maturation process?
Taiwan's sub-tropical climate, which has a higher average temperature than Scotland, accelerates the maturation process of whisky in oak barrels. The advantage of quick maturation is that it allows for the production of flavourful liquid in a shorter period, which is very efficient and helpful for experimentation and production.
However, due to the higher evaporation rate of the liquid, compared to colder climates, Taiwan's barrel-aged whisky experiences an Angel's Share of 6-8% per year, which is higher than Scotland's 2-3%. This makes it difficult for Taiwan to produce high-aged whiskies, and the rapid extraction process can also lead to an overly woody taste, making it challenging to achieve balance.
It's worth noting that Taiwanese whisky typically doesn't label their bottles with a specific age. While Scotland's core range typically starts at 10-12 years, Taiwan's fast maturation speed of 3-4 times makes up for it, and the rich flavour profiles are still impressive even without age statements. These accolades have become an industry-recognized indicator of quality! While the public believes that older whisky is better, Taiwanese whisky is breaking through the age-old myth.
The two leading Taiwanese whisky brands, Nantou Distillery's Omar and Kavalan Distillery, are on equal footing. Omar takes advantage of the inventory of various fruit wine barrels and the fast maturation process to create a unique style. Kavalan, on the other hand, has a variety of barrel types, with a focus on sherry casks that cater to Taiwanese tastes. Sherry and grape brandy are highly diversified, but because sherry barrels are difficult to obtain, most sherry cask products on the market only use 3-4 types of barrels. Kavalan has almost ten grape-related flavour barrel products, bringing infinite joy to sherry cask enthusiasts.
These distilleries' efforts continually drive the development of Taiwanese whisky, injecting new vitality into Taiwan's whisky culture and making it a focus of international attention. As more people begin to pay attention to Taiwanese whisky, we believe that Taiwan's whisky industry will have an even brighter future.