Kavalan on Whiskystats

31. October 2019 | 1.4K Views

We finally bring light to another dark spot on the secondary whisky market map as we start tracking prices for Kavalan too. However, it seems like this asian distillery struggles to gain the full attention of the whisky collectors around the world. 

It was back in 2007 when the Yuan Shan distillery in Taiwan started production. In 2008 the first whisky was released and was met with a growing interest on the global market. At least since 2012, when export to Europe and the U.S. started too, Kavalan established its position on the global whisky map and the first releases appeared on the auction platforms we track.
By October 2019 we find 380 Kavalan releases in our database for which we each have at least two different price observations. In total we observed more than 3.100 trades for those bottles. These trades, coloured by the respective auction platform, are displayed in the below visualization.
Kavalan Trades Quite obviously the big peak in the number of traded Kavalan whiskies was reached in the second half of 2016 and early 2017. In this period we regularly observed more than 75 bottles traded each month. In the years that followed this number declined and nowadays we see fifty to seventy bottles being traded on a regular basis.
Kavalan Volume Kavalan has a strong focus on single cask releases called “Solist”. Out of the 380 bottles in our database, 316 belong to the Solist range. This is also apparent by the above displayed distribution of the alcohol levels. The majority of Kavalan whiskies has a share of 55% to 60% alcohol. Also worth noting is that those Solist releases do not carry any age information.

Kavalan Performance

So the Kavalan portfolio is dominated by single cask releases. Hence they are not reproducable and of limited availability. Sounds exactly like what a collector is looking for. Needless to say that we of course calculated the index for the Kavalan distillery. So for each month we identified the historically most traded releases and their combined change in value defined the respective index movement. And the results sees our Kavalan index on a steady decline ever since we had enough data to calculate the index movements.
Kavalan Index Yes during 2015 and 2016 there were only few bottles which drove this index and that is probably the reason for those extreme index movements. But even over the last two or three years, when we saw a decent number of bottles being traded each month, the index continued to loose ground. In our distillery ranking Kavalan currently takes the 86th place right next to the other “distillery youngsters” like Kilchomann, Arran and Wolfburn.

Kavalan Picks

But the above does not mean that there are no Kavalan releases that gained any value. Take the Solist Sherry Cask s060626033. First traded in March 2014 for around 100 Euros, this whisky now reaches more than 300 Euros on auctions. The Solist Oloroso Cask s090102018 even climbed from 106 Euros in November 2018 to 291 Euros in May 2019. Also the Distillery Reserve (Peaty Cask) 2013 Release gained significantly.
Quite interestingly, when we look at the currently most expensive Kavalan whiskies, we find three expressions from the Scotch Malt Whisky Society (SMWS) on top of the list. The Kavalan 139.1 just recently traded for 1.111 Euros and the Kavalan 139.4 for 640 Euros. The most expensive “standard” bottling seems to be the below displayed Kavalan Selection Sherry Cask so60821055 which traded for 425 Euros in February 2019.
Kavalan Selection so60821055 With 85 price observations the Kavalan Sherry Oak is the single most traded Kavalan release in our database. Prices never moved much and leveled in somewhere at around 70 to 80 Euros. The most traded Solist single cask release is the below displayed Solist Sherry Cask s060821017. The 48 observations saw prices go as high as 422 Euros this year. Within six months prices dropped back all the way to 123 Euros though and now stand at 220 Euros. Looks like a pretty volatile pricing for these once existing 519 bottles.
Kavalan Solist s060821017
We have already seen from our index that the Kavalan releases did not perform very well as a whole. Exemplary for this is the Solist Vinho Barrique w090220003. Back in 2015 and 2016 this whisky was traded for well above 200 Euros. Ever since prices slowly decreased to somewhere bettwen 120 and 150 Euros. The same pattern can be observed for the Solist Sherry Cask s090306021 but here within less than one year time. This release started furiously with 538 Euros in March 2019 but then dropped to 220 Euros in May and now stands at around 150 Euros.
If you own some Kavalan releases make sure you add them to your personal whisky collection now in order to track their prices!