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Cask Strength..vatted or SC?

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Cask Strength..vatted or SC?

Postby ScotchPalate » Mon Jan 29, 2007 5:09 pm

Are Cask Strength expressions, in general, from a single cask or are most vatted?
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Postby Deactivated Member » Mon Jan 29, 2007 5:19 pm

Cask strength expressions are just that: Cask Strength.
Not specifically single cask or otherwise.

There are many CS bottlings (I immediately think of Macallan 10 CS, the Laphroaig CS bottlings, Ardbeg Uigeadail plus many more) which are not single casks.

Having said this, if I were to turn your question around and ask "Are Single Cask bottlings usually bottled at CS?" then although the answer is still not always, I think you may find that quite a high proportion are.

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Postby scotch4ever » Mon Jan 29, 2007 5:33 pm

I often wondered how could one have a consistent CS % in a Vatting? If every cask has it's own characteristics than how can there be a consistent % of alcohol? Is there some leway given to bottlers about the % of alcohol? Meaning does the industry allow a % +/- in either direction? Has anyone ever measured there different bottles to check?

CHeers,
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Postby vitara7 » Mon Jan 29, 2007 6:32 pm

interesting theroy, never though of it like that before.
maybe its like age satment, as long as nothing is under that age its fine, mybe as long as its not under the strength they sell it at its fine too.
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Postby Deactivated Member » Mon Jan 29, 2007 6:45 pm

Hmmm, a good point.
Now, as I think aloud a little, please stay with me......

Firstly I think of Macallan 10 CS. There are many versions of this on the market, each with a difference of only a percentage point or two in the actual strength.

When casks are vatted for a large bottling, the volume of the cask is knowm as is the strength of each one. So surely this is only a simple calculation to get the strength correctly measured for the whole bottling.

But once again, all I can add are thoughts and more questions, not definitve answers to this one.
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Postby Admiral » Mon Jan 29, 2007 9:35 pm

In the case of OB's, cask strength bottlings are usually vattings. (e.g. Macallan CS, Glenfiddich CS, various Highland Park releases, one or two Bowmore releases, etc, etc).

In the case of IB's, with perhaps the exception of some Gordon & MacPhail offerings, I would suggest that the majority of bottlings are single casks.

Cheers,
AD
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Postby TheLiquorBaron » Mon Jan 29, 2007 11:31 pm

scotch4ever wrote:I often wondered how could one have a consistent CS % in a Vatting? If every cask has it's own characteristics than how can there be a consistent % of alcohol? Is there some leway given to bottlers about the % of alcohol? Meaning does the industry allow a % +/- in either direction? Has anyone ever measured there different bottles to check?


Ahh..great question indeed!!

As M-T pointed out there are slight variances in the % Alc/Vol in different bottlings at times...Is it maybe the distillery dumps the barrels and then takes the %Alc/Vol reading on the whole vatting??

I have noticed though the glenfiddich C/S is always at 51%...throughout the world. Which makes me think again about scotch4ever's comment...How do they get this so consistant?? :? Surely they have to play with it a bit...??
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Postby lbacha » Mon Jan 29, 2007 11:57 pm

51% is a little low for a cask strength so it sounds like they cut it and call it cask strength because it is higher than their standard bottling.

Len
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Postby lbacha » Mon Jan 29, 2007 11:59 pm

On second thought maybe they put it into the cask at a lower strength in the first place.

Hmm, I think I have a new question to ask next time I go to the distillery.

Len
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Postby Mustardhead » Tue Jan 30, 2007 12:05 am

I suspect that most cask strength bottlings come from pouring dozens of casks into a big stainless steel vat at the bottling plant and letting it all settle for a few days before filtration and bottling. The ABV will be measured as the whisky comes from the tank, not while in the casks, it is very important to the Excise people :wink:

Perhaps some cask strength whiskies aren't really cask strength, like those which manage a consistent strength year in, year out. Those like the Aberlour a'bunadh and the various Balvenie offerings seem much more reliable on that score.
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Postby TheLiquorBaron » Tue Jan 30, 2007 12:33 am

This is sounding to me like the term 'Cask Strength' is like the saga Diageo had with Cardhu...There is obviously no true definition of the term.

I would have thought some legal eagles would have been onto this??
Maybe there needs to be a legal definition of the term "Cask Strength" - The %Alc/Vol of the spirit in a single cask that has not had any additional additives before bottling or in the case of a vatting, the quantity of barrels to be emptied into a vat and taking the %Alc/Vol on the whole vat, having no additional additives before bottling.
That's what I would determine Cask Strength to be... :wink:
Same would go for Bourbon and the term "Barrel Proof".
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Postby kallaskander » Tue Jan 30, 2007 9:47 am

Hi there,

a cask strength that is a single barrel bottling will most probably state so on the label.

As most OB bottlings that are cask strength are vattings, it depends on the age of the barrels used to determine the strength of that vatting. Therefor as a rule of thumb 10 year old cask strength vattings are of lower abv than cs vattings with no age statement as the whiskies used are younger and the angels did not have their share to the full yet.

It might well be a elegant way of getting rid of casks that did not work out so well as the higher abv tends to mask minor flaws in those casks and vatting dilutes those flaws further.
That does not mean that cs bottlings are bad or that they are inferior.

Greetings
kallaskander
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