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What Is Cask Strength Whisky?

What Does ‘Cask Strength’ Mean?

Rather than referring to any process the whisky has gone through, cask strength refers to what has not been done. Most whiskies are brought down to a standard percentage of alcohol by volume, or proof, by adding water to the spirit before bottling so that each batch is consistent. However, a cask strength whisky is bottled at the strength at which it’s drawn from the cask – nothing is added, and nothing is taken away.

How Does It Affect The Flavour?

These whiskies pack a palatable punch. When the clear spirit first goes into the cask, it’s quite singular in flavour – loaded with The Glenlivet’s unique distillery character. Over time, the whisky develops a symbiotic relationship with the oak cask – the liquid seeps into the wood grain as the flavours held in the oak are diffused into the spirit. It’s here that the intense, robust flavours – the hallmarks of a cask strength whisky – are created.

How Do I Drink Cask Strength Whisky?

If you have a higher-proof whisky in your collection, the best way to enjoy it is with water. It’s how our distillers drink it, and you should never be afraid to dilute your whisky to suit your personal tastes. Add room-temperature water or an ice cube, whichever you prefer – just be careful not to over-dilute. Add the water little by little, tasting the whisky after each addition. You’ll notice subtle changes to the taste as different tones and flavours are released, bringing out the complexities in the spirit.

Where Do I Begin?

The Glenlivet Nàdurra Cask Strength range is the perfect place to start cask strength whisky explorations. Nàdurra means “natural” in Gaelic, and the range is all about an unadulterated whisky experience. Choose from Nàdurra Oloroso, a sherry cask scotch, Nàdurro First Fill Selection, a first fill whisky or Nàdurro Peated Whisky Cask Finish, a peated scotch whisky. The only other things you need are some ice and water, and your journey into cask strength scotch can begin.

Explore enjoying The Glenlivet further with our guide to whisky or delve into our whisky cocktail recipes.