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Cask Strength Whisky

I’d say this is a great time to be thinking about cask strength whisky. If you are not familiar with them, that’s ok, we’re always here to help. 

For the most part it is self explanatory. Whether it be a single cask bottling or a vatting of many casks, the alcohol percentage that it comes out of the cask is “cask strength”. The majority of bottles out there are not cask strength and have had water added before bottling to bring the percentage to usually 40-46%. With cask strength whisky, you are usually looking at around 50% - mid 60%. If you are new to whisky drinking and you unknowingly order some, that could be a swift kick to the backside! I have known a couple of people that happened to and they just told themselves they don’t like whisky ‘because it was too harsh!’.

Cask strength offerings have definitely grown in popularity over the years. I am most certainly a fan, but am aware that not everyone is. I like that when I get a bottle, I am in control of how much water I put in it...if any! You could listen to many people’s arguments on whether you should add water or not, but I am in the camp of: if you buy it, you can do whatever makes you happy! Don’t let others tell you how to enjoy your whisky.

Although, one thing I would suggest is that if you are going to add water, just be mindful of the quality of water you are adding. The quality of the water you add does play a big difference in how the whisky will end up tasting. Unless you have some super delicious tap water, I would steer away from that source and get some high quality H2O! Play with it and experiment with how much or how little water you like. Every bottling will be different as well depending on the strength it was bottled at. So just have fun with it.

Some of my personal favourites are the Aberlour A’Bunadh bottled at 59.9%, which is a no brainer for me. Super full on creaminess and velvety smooth! Another would be our very own Stalla Dhu Single Cask Ben Nevis, bottled at 56.2%. This 18 y/o just helps you sink into your chair in the evening with those wonderfully rich fruity flavours! Some other favourites are: Ardbeg Corryvreckan, Nikka From The Barrel, and Springbank 12 Cask Strength.

Written by Cailin Morrison - 06/04/2020