Prior to the 20th century, it was common for distilleries to bottle their whiskies at cask strength. These days, diluting the liquor a bit with water not only saves money but also lowers the alcohol content to accommodate modern tastes. While some cask strength whisky can get up to 66% ABV, most are below 60%. Enthusiasts of this style aren’t necessarily fans of breathing fire upon sipping, but simply prefer to dilute the whisky themselves to their own liking.
With a lineage that spans nearly two centuries, Scotland’s own The GlenDronach has tapped into its history with its own Cask Strength series, now debuting its 10th batch. Crafted by Master Blender Rachel Barrie, the Cask Strength Highland Single Malt is bottled at 58.6% ABV and is a blend of liquor that’s been aged in Pedro Ximénez sherry casks and Oloroso sherry casks. Not only can a splash of water be excellent for bringing out the distillery’s signature flavors, but it can personalize the drinking experience in a way that non-cask strength whiskies can’t.
Developing a chestnut bronze hue in the Spanish oak in which it was aged, this Scotch whisky displays an array of aromas such as mocha, apricot, orange chocolate cake, raisin, walnut, almond, and, of course, toasted oak on the nose. On the palate, notes of spiced fruitcake blend with dark cherry and raisin for a rich and complex taste.
The GlenDronach’s Cask Strength Batch 10 Single Malt Scotch whisky is now available from select retailers for around $100.