If you visit Yilan, everyone recommends a visit to Kavalan Whisky Distillery. I am not a whisky fan but I went take a look anyway.
Driving into (or through) the factory is surprisingly pleasant. It was spacious, clean, very green with rows of neatly planted trees, and there are lots of egrets in the yard. It takes a few minutes to drive through the factory to arrive at the Whisky Distiller building which is open for public.
Kavalan Whisky is founded by King Car Group in 2002 when Taiwan joined the World Trade Organization. “Kavalan” is the name of the aboriginals from flatland which is Yilan today. It is a vast lush flatland facing Pacific Ocean with a backdrop of some tall mountains. The location was chosen because of the unlimited supply of pure fresh water from the snow mountain and the central streams. Water is critical to the success of the whisky business.
Walking through the Whisky Distillery is self-guided. You just have to follow the signs and read the information in the exhibition halls. It was very interesting, even to people like me who don’t drink whisky.
Since 2010, Kavalan Whisky has received several awards, making it one of the best known whisky distilleries worldwide. In 2015, Kavalan Solist Vinho Barrique is officially the best single malt whiskey on earth, according to the World Whiskies Awards! Check it out next time you visit. However, if you drive, don’t drink. And there is a limit to bring alcohol home on the plane.