Cask strength Whiskies are a great way to get to the depth and complexity of many drams. They offer up the chance to try the liquid before it is diluted with water, and allow you to use a drop water yourself, to bring out more flavours and aromas.
These are the Top 5 Cask Strength Whiskies that will definitely give you plenty of taste.
1. Springbank 12 Year Old Cask Strength
Bottle cost: £47.46
Matured in both sherry and bourbon casks, this is an expression with a sweet and spicy flavour profile. It begins with a nose full of caramel and orchard fruits such as apples, nectarines and peaches. There is a fresh note to these, with a dew covered grass aroma also present to complement them. On the palate these become crisper and better defined. The sherry casks really start to make themselves known here with a burst of spicy warmth. Oak wood and malted biscuits also appear, alongside citrus fruits and black treacle. The finish is strong with malt and spice lingering.
2. Laphroaig 10 Year Old Cask Strength
Bottle cost: £73.95
This dram is an excellent example of Laphroaig malt. It opens with big waves of peat and smoke, undercut with heather and fresh herbs. There is something refreshing about the nose. Beyond the peat s a soft toffee flavour with a sweet tang against the dullness of the smoke. This continues onto the palate, where the toffee hardens and is joined with treacle. The peat smoke is always present. There is also a splash of iodine that is characteristic of Laphroaig malts. This melts into the sweetness of the toffee. The finish is exactly as you would expect, big, bold and lingering on peat.
3. Amrut Cask
Bottle cost: £66.95
Amrut Cask Strength captures all the warmness and malted tones of the brand’s non-casks strength malts. The nose is biscuity and big with bold notes of citrus fruits and dried fruits coming out. Cereals and malt act as a nice base for the tang of the fruit. On the palate the fruits become sweeter and raisins and apricots give this expression a wonderfully chewy texture. Thick toffee and caramel with a dash of cinnamon warmth also appear. These work in harmony with the zesty fruits and subtle malt. The finish is big, with lots of malt and biscuits, and the odd orange peel appearing here and there.
4. GlenDronach Cask
Matured in Pedro Ximenez and Oloroso sherry casks, this is a sweet and spicy dram. Hard toffees and butterscotch give the nose a wonderful creamy aroma. They are warmed by cinnamon and cloves, which add heat and complexity on first smell. There is also a subtle milk chocolate aroma that further adds to the creaminess. This becomes bolder on the palate, where it is joined by biscuity malt and more spices. Dried fruits such as raisins and figs also appear, giving a soft bite to the mouth feel. The milk chocolate melts over the fruit, and the flavours mix in perfectly. The finish wraps it all up well more chocolate and fruits, and a hint of cinnamon.
5. Auchentoshan Valinch 1st Release
Named for the machine that removes Whisky from the cask, this is a superb release from this Lowland distillery. The nose is sweet and zesty, with caramelised lemon peel and burnt white sugar. These add crispness to the dram that is mouth watering. Flaky pastry and icing sugar are also present. The palate is creamy and smooth, with more lemons and oranges. The fruits take over on the palate, with green apples and grapes also appearing and giving this dram a fresh note. The finish is well rounded, with more white sugar and citrus peels to give it a tangy and sweet end.