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Cask Strength, love them/hate them, which are your favorites

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Cask Strength, love them/hate them, which are your favorites

Postby Elagabalus » Sun Oct 19, 2008 3:05 pm

I've come to gain an appreciation for cask strength whiskies and over the Christmas season I'd like to begin acquiring various cask strength whiskies for my collection. This is basically because my birthday is Dec 5th and for my bday and Christmas I always get a few $$$ in liquor store gift cards which makes the Christmas season my busiest LCBO shopping time.

I've had about 3 A'Bunadh batches. I have also had the Macallan CS too. Both of these very sherried.

Anyway so please bring me your input and recommendations, concerns and questions!! :P
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Re: Cask Strength, love them/hate them, which are your favorites

Postby Deactivated Member » Sun Oct 19, 2008 3:11 pm

One of my favourite distilleries is Caol Ila, but only for CS versions.

Preferably IBs and as near to 60% as possible.
You won't be disappointed.
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Re: Cask Strength, love them/hate them, which are your favorites

Postby Kernow » Sun Oct 19, 2008 4:17 pm

Hey my birthdays on the 5th December to.

And im with MT im hoping for a least one bottle of Caol Ila CS , fingers crossed.
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Re: Cask Strength, love them/hate them, which are your favorites

Postby Elagabalus » Sun Oct 19, 2008 4:59 pm

well we have to have a freakin partaiiiii kernow lol
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Re: Cask Strength, love them/hate them, which are your favorites

Postby Wave » Sun Oct 19, 2008 5:13 pm

I love cask strength whiskies! In fact more often than not I'll buy a cask strength over a regular bottling. I would much rather decide in how much it needs to be diluted (or not) as opposed to someone else's conception of what a malt should be cut at.

Caol Ila has been mentioned and I too agree, also Lagavulin, Ardbeg, Laphroaig, Mortlach, Highland Park, Longmorn, and Aberlour (among a cast of many) are at their best at cask strength. Don't worry if it isn't close to 60% ABV, most cask strength whiskies are only at this proof when young except for some Ben Nevis, Benrinnes and several others that don't like to warehouse water plus the every now and then a tight cask.

Cheers!
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Re: Cask Strength, love them/hate them, which are your favorites

Postby pkt77242 » Sun Oct 19, 2008 5:45 pm

Elagabalus,

I have really enjoyed the Lagavulin 12yo CS, and the Glenlivet Nadurra. Both are great CS. The Lagavulin can get rather expensive, but the Nadurra is usually very well priced for a 16yo CS.

Sean
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Re: Cask Strength, love them/hate them, which are your favorites

Postby Jimmy321 » Sun Oct 19, 2008 7:31 pm

Cask strength is first choice for me, i prefer to sip on a cask strength malt than drink a 40%. I like the concentrated flavors at cask strength and you can always add water if you wish.
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Re: Cask Strength, love them/hate them, which are your favorites

Postby lisa » Sun Oct 19, 2008 7:51 pm

Laphroaig Cask Strength is one of my all time favourites (and a bargain) as is Ardbeg Uigedail (Bourbon is another taste altogether but I like that too and on strength they´re often bargains - eg. Wild Turkey Rare Breed I really like a lot)
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Re: Cask Strength, love them/hate them, which are your favorites

Postby talisker10 » Sun Oct 19, 2008 11:16 pm

I have had two, Glenlivet Nadurra and Laphroaig 10 CS. The Lap CS is one of favorite whiskies period! Nadurra..not bad at all but I would not buy it again.

I like the fact that with the Lap CS I can control the amount of water and change the taste dramatically depending on mood.
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Re: Cask Strength, love them/hate them, which are your favorites

Postby tmaufer » Mon Oct 20, 2008 4:49 am

I don't think it's available anymore (not sure if this is a temporary situation), but I loved the Ardbeg Corryvreckan. I am not sure, but since it's 100 degrees proof, I thought it was CS. It was mighty tasty.
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Re: Cask Strength, love them/hate them, which are your favorites

Postby UUNetBill » Mon Oct 20, 2008 5:02 am

I've had several batches of the a'bunadh (14 and 21) as well as the 'Farclas 105 and macallan CS. I'm cure i've had a few others but can't seem to recall them right now.

I'm a big fan of the a'bunadh. Heavily sherried, heavy and sweet, a true spice bomb. Love it.

:thumbsup:
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Re: Cask Strength, love them/hate them, which are your favorites

Postby Deactivated Member » Mon Oct 20, 2008 7:57 am

Yesterday evening I tried just a tiny drop of Bruichladdich x4 +1; supposedly the strongest whisky ever to be distilled and also named "The Perilous Whisky".

I think the new make was around 94% ABV and the bottled whisky is somewhere around 64%.

Wow!
If you ever get the chance - try it!
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Re: Cask Strength, love them/hate them, which are your favorites

Postby shoganai » Mon Oct 20, 2008 11:21 pm

Three of my all time OBs are cask strength
Ardbeg Uigeadial
Glenlivet Nadurra
Laphroaig 10 CS

I also really like A'bunadh, but for me it's not in the same league as the other three (maybe I'll change my mind when I open my batch 14).
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Re: Cask Strength, love them/hate them, which are your favorites

Postby Ganga » Mon Oct 20, 2008 11:29 pm

I prefer almost all distilleries at higher proof. :D Some that haven't been mentioned already: Glenfarclas, Highland Park, Scapa, Springbank.
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Re: Cask Strength, love them/hate them, which are your favorites

Postby lisa » Tue Oct 21, 2008 12:08 am

Ganga wrote:I prefer almost all distilleries at higher proof. :D Some that haven't been mentioned already: Glenfarclas, Highland Park, Scapa, Springbank.


I wish there was an OB HP CS among the Highland Park core expressions (or is there?)
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Re: Cask Strength, love them/hate them, which are your favorites

Postby UUNetBill » Tue Oct 21, 2008 12:22 am

I don't believe there are any OB HP CS in the core expressions, but there are (were?) some limited editions out there. . .not sure about availability, though.
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Re: Cask Strength, love them/hate them, which are your favorites

Postby Ganga » Tue Oct 21, 2008 12:28 am

Not within the "core". However, HP has been bottling lots of single casks for stores. I am aware of at least three for Binny's, two for Texas and four for California. I think there was also one for Oslo. What I can say is that these casks were all sherry casks, at least those that I have managed to find.

BTW Lisa, where are you from?
Last edited by Ganga on Tue Oct 21, 2008 12:29 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Cask Strength, love them/hate them, which are your favorites

Postby Ryguy » Tue Oct 21, 2008 12:29 am

I just love cask strength whiskies. I think the higher strength really adds something and I find myself buying more whisky at CS than anything else.

Alot of my favorites have been mentioned above, but a SMWS Caol Ila at CS really opened my eyes to this distillery.
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Re: Cask Strength, love them/hate them, which are your favorites

Postby John McGill » Tue Oct 21, 2008 1:17 am

Ganga wrote:Not within the "core". However, HP has been bottling lots of single casks for stores. I am aware of at least three for Binny's, two for Texas and four for California. I think there was also one for Oslo. What I can say is that these casks were all sherry casks, at least those that I have managed to find.

BTW Lisa, where are you from?


You're correct Ganga, Cask 1556 was bottled for Dr. Jekyll's Pub, Oslo and in the UK we also had cask 1555 last year which was bottled for Oddbins.

I've also got cask 1602 which was simply labelled "For Sweden" but apart from that I don't know much about that bottle.

The other CS bottles that spring to mind are the Ambassadors Cask range which were all cask strength apart from possibly Ambassadors cask 3 which was only about 44% I think.
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Re: Cask Strength, love them/hate them, which are your favorites

Postby Wave » Tue Oct 21, 2008 1:36 am

lisa wrote:I wish there was an OB HP CS among the Highland Park core expressions (or is there?)

Welcome to the WMF lisa!
I gave up on HP OB's a long time ago and prefer IB's instead. The best cask strength HP IB's I've had have been from Scott's Selection, Signatory and Cadenhead.

Cheers!
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Re: Cask Strength, love them/hate them, which are your favorites

Postby jazz lover » Tue Oct 21, 2008 1:57 am

Too many to list...
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Re: Cask Strength, love them/hate them, which are your favorites

Postby shoganai » Tue Oct 21, 2008 2:22 am

Ganga wrote:Not within the "core". However, HP has been bottling lots of single casks for stores. I am aware of at least three for Binny's, two for Texas and four for California.


I have tried two of the Binny's bottles and they are, to put it mildly, absolutely amazing. I actually have a Scott's Selection HP Cask Strength on it's way and I'm pretty excited for it.
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Re: Cask Strength, love them/hate them, which are your favorites

Postby Wave » Tue Oct 21, 2008 4:37 am

shoganai wrote: I actually have a Scott's Selection HP Cask Strength on it's way and I'm pretty excited for it.

Which one?

Cheers!
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Re: Cask Strength, love them/hate them, which are your favorites

Postby Reggaeblues » Tue Oct 21, 2008 12:32 pm

Ryguy wrote:I just love cask strength whiskies. I think the higher strength really adds something and I find myself buying more whisky at CS than anything else.

Alot of my favorites have been mentioned above, but a SMWS Caol Ila at CS really opened my eyes to this distillery.


Which one? My "Introductory bottle" to SMWS was a15 YO CI...still have a few precious drops left. JUST amazing. I've said before it would give any Ardbeg a run fro its money!

More and more over the last 2 years I find myself drawn to higher ABVs. 46% I now consider ideal "easy drinking" strength. I don't always add water...maybe a few drops over 55% but that's about it. I've recently enjoyed 2 SMWS bottlings - a sherried Laphroaig and a Mortlach...definitely no water needed!

Outstanding for me have been "The vintage house Macallan" and ESC 5 Macallan; Ardbeg uigeadal and almost There; the CI I mentioned; Lag 12 ; a 34 YO Clynelish I sampled at Vinopolis; a rum finished 'Laddie sampled at Vintage house; a smple of Talisker 20; Talisker 57; something called "Spynimore" which was a Linkwood; 3 Glen Morays tasted at the distillery (including Mountain Oak - great, and different)an auchentoshan sampled at a tasting; 2 CS Springbanks; and really exceptional - a sample of Lag 21 recently sent to me by The Tross!

All good stuff. But it also occurs to me that there is an art to knowing the best, low ABV OBs...

there are many others
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Re: Cask Strength, love them/hate them, which are your favorites

Postby LeoDLion » Tue Oct 21, 2008 1:34 pm

Dont forget cask strength Arran. It taste great. I dont remember the exact release but its pretty good and powerful.
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Re: Cask Strength, love them/hate them, which are your favorites

Postby Ryguy » Tue Oct 21, 2008 1:53 pm

Reggaeblues wrote:
Ryguy wrote:I just love cask strength whiskies. I think the higher strength really adds something and I find myself buying more whisky at CS than anything else.

Alot of my favorites have been mentioned above, but a SMWS Caol Ila at CS really opened my eyes to this distillery.


Which one? My "Introductory bottle" to SMWS was a15 YO CI...still have a few precious drops left. JUST amazing. I've said before it would give any Ardbeg a run fro its money!

More and more over the last 2 years I find myself drawn to higher ABVs. 46% I now consider ideal "easy drinking" strength. I don't always add water...maybe a few drops over 55% but that's about it. I've recently enjoyed 2 SMWS bottlings - a sherried Laphroaig and a Mortlach...definitely no water needed!

Outstanding for me have been "The vintage house Macallan" and ESC 5 Macallan; Ardbeg uigeadal and almost There; the CI I mentioned; Lag 12 ; a 34 YO Clynelish I sampled at Vinopolis; a rum finished 'Laddie sampled at Vintage house; a smple of Talisker 20; Talisker 57; something called "Spynimore" which was a Linkwood; 3 Glen Morays tasted at the distillery (including Mountain Oak - great, and different)an auchentoshan sampled at a tasting; 2 CS Springbanks; and really exceptional - a sample of Lag 21 recently sent to me by The Tross!

All good stuff. But it also occurs to me that there is an art to knowing the best, low ABV OBs...

there are many others


53.108 Caol Ila 10yo 59.9%, Amazing!
Also
53.109 Caol Ila 15yo 54.5%, Excellent!

It's funny you mention a SMWS Sherried Laphroaig, I have another bottle coming of 29.64, all I can say is WOW!!! I absolutely loved it!!
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Re: Cask Strength, love them/hate them, which are your favorites

Postby Gilles Deleuze » Tue Oct 21, 2008 4:45 pm

From reading everyone's posts, and from getting lots of great advice, I'd say that at least 75% of the bottles I've bought since I started posting here have been cask strength.

I was looking forward to ordering an HP cask strength bottled by the Whisky Exchange, but they just sold out of it! C'est la vie... :oops:
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Re: Cask Strength, love them/hate them, which are your favorites

Postby LagaDrinker » Tue Oct 21, 2008 7:29 pm

For me a CS gives the drinker the ability to dilute to their own taste. If you have one that is around 40% already then it gives you less to play with I guess. Also if you dilute to around 20-30% a CS will go further too.
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Re: Cask Strength, love them/hate them, which are your favorites

Postby lincoln imp » Tue Oct 21, 2008 8:01 pm

At the moment i have a bottle of Cragganmore 17yr CS and Springbank 97 batch no 1 open both of which are excellent.
Higher strength Highland Parks are also worth buying.
I agree that CS whisky gives you a chance to dilute a little to get the perfect strength for your palate. :thumbsup:
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Re: Cask Strength, love them/hate them, which are your favorites

Postby Reggaeblues » Tue Oct 21, 2008 8:09 pm

LagaDrinker wrote:For me a CS gives the drinker the ability to dilute to their own taste. If you have one that is around 40% already then it gives you less to play with I guess. Also if you dilute to around 20-30% a CS will go further too.



I find diluted CS to be totally different experience from a bottled-at 40-43%. Is it the lack of filtration??
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Re: Cask Strength, love them/hate them, which are your favorites

Postby Ganga » Tue Oct 21, 2008 8:15 pm

Most of the cask strength whiskies I have tried have been either single cask or a small vatting (two or three) of casks.

RB, I would suggest that cask selection has a great deal to do with the differences between CS and 40, 43 % whiskies. Now I haven't tried a direct comparison of large vattings of CS whiskies versus their counterparts at much lower percentage. I guess research on this subject is required. :wink:
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Re: Cask Strength, love them/hate them, which are your favorites

Postby LagaDrinker » Tue Oct 21, 2008 9:13 pm

I must admit I haven't compared a 40-43% diluted with a CS diluted but you have given me a good idea to try.

Ganga - Let the research begin!
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Re: Cask Strength, love them/hate them, which are your favorites

Postby Single Malt Kommunist » Tue Oct 21, 2008 11:18 pm

IB Caol Ila 2000, 7 YO, 64.3% abv.

masochism at its finest.
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Re: Cask Strength, love them/hate them, which are your favorites

Postby LagaDrinker » Wed Oct 22, 2008 12:39 am

Single Malt Kommunist wrote:IB Caol Ila 2000, 7 YO, 64.3% abv.

masochism at its finest.


Who Bottles it?
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Re: Cask Strength, love them/hate them, which are your favorites

Postby Ganga » Wed Oct 22, 2008 12:43 am

I'm curious too. My guess is that it is a Signatory bottling. Did I win? :P
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