Chang, who also has a biotechnology degree in food, explains Kavalan is first made from malts that are heated, broken down and fermented. Then by a process of adding and reducing water, 8 percent alcohol by volume is eventually distilled to 60 percent and thousands of barrels are filled and left to mature in just two years — a fraction of the 10 years needed for the best Scottish whiskies.
“Our goal is that we are an international brand that Taiwanese can be proud of,” Chang says.
This may just be starting to happen. Of the International Spirits Challenge Awards in August, known as the Oscars of the whiskey world in which representatives from every label attend to bag the gold, Chang says: “Four years ago, no one would know which company I represented. Before, I had to go to them. Now, I see people walking to me.”