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Cask strength whisky
So how much is enough water?
There are a couple of things you need to keep in mind. If you add too much water to your whisk(e)y, your whisk(e)y will be too thin and diluted too much.
Always first drink your cask strength whisky neat so you can taste the complexities in the whisk(e)y and the flavors straight from the barrel. It can taste and be different from brand to brand and from batches or bottles.
Never put too much water in you cask strength whisk(e)y. Always start out with a few drops and then add more. If the alcohol strength is still too much for you add some more water and taste it again. You don’t want to over-dilute your whisk(e)y!
Always swirl your whisk(e)y when you add water to your glass. This so the whisk(e)y and the water will mix together. The whisk(e)y and alcohol strength needs to adjust to the added water and it will settle in your glass.
You’ll often see a cloudy haze to your whisk(e)y depending on the temperature of the bottle or if you add water to your glass. Don’t be alarmed! this is a good thing it means your whisk(e)y isn’t chill filtrated.
Please keep in mind you will use quality water when added to your whisk(e)y. If you live in an area with a high mineral content, don’t just add water from the tap, add filtered mineral water.
The temperature of your added filtered mineral water. If you live in a warm climate or where you add its summer, you maybe want to add some cooled mineral water so your cask strength whisk(e)y will be cooled as well.
But if its already cold you maybe want to keep a contained temperature of you whisk(e)y and want to add it at normal room temperature. This because if you drink your whisk(e)y too cold it will close its flavors and taste. if you drink it too warm it will evaporate your alcohol too much and the flavors will be affected as well.
So why not all whisk(e)y at cask strength?
Most bottled whisk(e)y is diluted with water to reduce its strength (i.e., ABV level) to a level that makes it less expensive to produce, more bottles for the distiller to fill and more palatable to most consumers.
Usually the distillers will dilute the whisk(e)y to about 40% – 43% ABV, which is the statutory minimum in some countries.
The degree of dilution significantly affects the flavor and general drinking experience of the whisk(e)y.
Therefore a bottle of cask strength whisk(e)y will cost more than a normal bottle from the same brand or distillery.
Cask strength whisk(e)y is also non-chill filtered, a process that usually removes chemical compounds following maturation. That’s why cask strength whisk(e)y can go a bit cloudy, which is perfectly natural
We need more than Cask strength !
Cask strength is not the highest proof for a whisk(e)y. There are other even more methods to get a higher alcohol strength:
Still strength whiskies:
Still-strength whisk(e)y is typically a higher proof.
Pot still whiskies:
Whiskies produced by a pot still increases in strength with each distillation and is typically distilled to about 70% ABV.
Spirits distilled in pots top out between 60 and 80 percent alcohol by volume (ABV) after multiple distillations.
Column still whiskies:
Column stills are capable of producing much higher alcohol levels.
A column still, also called a continuous still, patent still or Coffey still, is a variety of still consisting of two columns. Column stills can produce rectified spirit (95% ABV).
Most distillers reduce the proof by adding water to the whiskies prior to casking it.
What happens inside the barrel?
Some cask strength whiskies to try
The Macallan Classic cut
Glengoyne cask strength
Laphroaig cask strength
Highland Park Cask Strength
Arran Cask Strength
Glendronach Cask Strength
Tamdhu Batch Strength
Tomatin Cask Strength
Lagavullin 12 years caskstrength
Redbreast 12 years CaskStrength
Benriach Cask Strength
Benromach cask strength
Springbank 12 years cask strength
Connemara Cask Strength
Kilchoman Original Cask Strength