What Cask Strength Means | BLACKENED®

What Cask Strength Whiskey Means & How to Drink It

What Cask Strength Means

Some say cask strength whiskey is whiskey in its truest form. Others just call it the extra strong stuff. But what does cask strength whiskey mean exactly? While typical whiskey is diluted with water before bottling, cask strength whiskey goes straight from barrel to bottle, retaining its full strength and natural grain character. Also referred to as barrel strength or overproof whiskey, cask strength whiskey can clock in between 50-75% ABV, with the typical dram being 60-65% ABV. Regular whiskey, on the other hand, is diluted to a standard ABV, usually 40%, to keep each batch consistent. Another clear distinction? Cask strength whiskey skips out on chill filtering, a mostly cosmetic process which removes chemical compounds after maturation. This means the spirit can get cloudy, but connoisseurs love it for this exact reason: It’s not missing anything.

Does Cask Strength Whiskey Taste Better?

Since cask strength whiskey is untouched from barrel to bottle, it retains the full spectrum of flavor compounds it picks up from the wooden cask over time during the maturation process. And since these flavor compounds bind to alcohol, cask strength whiskey packs more of a flavor punch than its lower-proof counterparts.

Why Drink Cask Strength Whiskey?

For connoisseurs and hardy purists, cask strength whiskey offers an opportunity to taste the spirit straight from the barrel in its most natural, high-proof form, while maintaining a buttery viscosity from non-chill filtration. It also allows the drinker to play blender by choosing to dilute the untouched dram exactly as they wish when sipping.

Tips for Drinking Cask Strength Whiskey

There are no rules on how to drink whiskey, but there are different whiskey tasting methods people use to better experience the full flavor of the whiskey.
  • Before tasting, begin by nosing the whiskey, keeping your lips slightly parted and lightly inhaling through both your mouth and your nose. This will dissipate the heat of the whiskey and allow you to pick up much more of the olfactory notes
  • Next, sip your cask strength whiskey neat to experience the spirit in its natural form. If you’re not used to high ABV spirits, brace yourself on your first sip.
  • After tasting neat, slowly add water between tastings to experience the cask strength whiskey at different dilution levels. Use room temperature water for best results.
  • Make sure you have the right glass for the job. A simple glass with a wide brim for nosing is a safe bet, but you can also use a tulip-shaped glass to concentrate aromas further.
  • At the end of the day, it’s all about personal preference and how you like your whiskey.

Experience Cask Strength With BLACKENED®

Begin your journey into cask strength whiskey with BLACKENED’s Cask Strength Whiskey, a super-premium blend of Master Blender Rob Dietrich’s carefully selected straight bourbons and ryes, finished in black brandy casks. Experience what sets our whiskey apart by picking up a bottle using our store location to find our cask strength whiskey near you or sign up for our newsletter to be updated once it’s available for delivery.

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