Cask Strength

All reviews of cask strength whiskies by WhiskyRant!

What is cask strength whiskey?

  • Cask strength is also known as barrel proof. It’s a dram coming straight out of the barrel or cask after (at least 3 years of) aging.
  • Usually bottled whisky has to be diluted with water. This happens because whiskey producers want to bring its strength down to a level that makes it cheaper to produce and more palatable to majority of consumers. Typical strength for whiskey is 40% ABV (alcohol per volume level).
  • Typically cask strength whiskies are in the range of 60–65% ABV. Sometimes bottlers might even dilute cask strength versions of their whiskey, to less than 60% ABV.
August 7, 2017
Willett 3 year old Single Barrel Small Batch Rye Whiskey

Willett Single Barrel Rye 3YO review

Tasting notes Willett Distilling Company (a.k.a Kentucky Bourbon Distillers) has been sourcing whiskies since the 1980’s but recently they’ve been maturing their own distillates too. So there’s a chance that this Willett 3 Year Old Single Barrel Small Batch Rye Whiskey is completely their own product. I purchased this from […]
August 7, 2017
GlenDronach logo

GlenDronach Cask Strength Batch 6 review

WhiskyRant’s conclusions Tasting notes GlenDronach’s sixth batch of the Cask Strength expression comes with a great 56.1% ABV (alcohol by volume). Bottled with great strength and coming from a distillery with good track record, this GlenDronach sounded tempting when I received a sample from a buddy of mine. Just like […]
July 27, 2017
Springbank 12YO Cask Strength Whisky

Springbank 12 year old Cask Strength batch 13 review

I had previously tasted batch 10 of Springbank 12 year old Cask Strength single malt. I fell in love with it. Now it was time for batch 13 in a local Finnish whisky tasting. And what another wonderful release of Springbank’s 12YO CS it was. This Campbeltown based distillery malt, […]
July 14, 2017
Valamo 5YO CS review

Valamo 5YO Cask Strength Single Malt for VYS

This 5 year old unpeated single malt whisky is the first official release by Valamo Monastery Distillery from Finland. Bottled at cask strength, this is a special edition release of 725 bottles in honor of the 5 year anniversary of VYS (Viskin Ystävien Seura = Fellowship of Whisky, Finland). This […]
July 27, 2016
Bowmore Tempest 10YO review

Bowmore Tempest 10 year old Batch 6 review

Like the name states, Bowmore Tempest VI 10 year old single malt is the 6th batch of the nowadays famous Tempest series by one of the oldest distilleries in Scotland. Bowmore was founded in 1779 and it is the oldest distillery in Islay region. Bowmore is one of only 6 […]
June 4, 2016
Lagavulin logo

Lagavulin 12 year old single malt whisky review (2015 and 2014 editions)

Lagavulin 12yo 2015 edition Lagavulin 12yo 2014 edition Lagavulin 12 year old single malt is a yearly special release by one of my favorite distilleries in the world, the Lagavulin distillery from Islay. I just absolutely love their 16 year old peated single malt from the core range. Well, I […]
February 6, 2016
Jack Wiebers Whisky World logo

Classic of Islay Jack Wieber 2015 review

Friend of mine told me about a German importer from Berlin, who has released bottlings under the name of Jack Wieber since 1998. Jack Wiebers Whisky World is a wholesale business operating in Wiener Strasse, Berlin. Owned by Lars-Göran Wiebers, the whisky shop is specialized in independent and rare bottlings. And they do release […]
November 25, 2015
Glenglassaugh logo

Glenglassaugh Evolution review

Glenglassaugh distillery was closed in 1986 but resurrected in 2008. After the distillery was reopened, they made Glenglassaugh Revival – matured in first and refill bourbon casks and finished for 6 months in first fill Oloroso sherry butts. Glenglassaugh Evolution is a limited cask strength release follow up to Revival. […]
October 15, 2015

Aberlour A’Bunadh Batch 47 review

Finally got my hands on a release of this well respected Aberlour A’Bunadh. The name is derived from Gaelic, meaning “return to origin”. That’s because the whisky has been produced according to the methods that were common around 1870’s. I ordered a sample of Batch 47 of the popular A’Bunadh […]
October 2, 2015
Springbank distillery logo

Springbank 12 year old Cask Strength batch 10 review

Welcome to my review of Springbank 12 year old Cask Strength version. Springbank is a fairly small distillery with an annual production capacity of 750 000 litres. Owned by the Mitchell’s, which is the same family who founded the distillery in 1828. That makes Springbank the oldest distillery continually owned by […]
September 6, 2015
Kavalan ex-bourbon feature

Kavalan Solist Ex-Bourbon Cask review

Kavalan is Taiwanese single malt produced and bottled by King Car Kavalan distillery. They started bottling of Kavalan in 2008 and their whiskies have good reputation, which has been growing fast. It also shows in the price tag and availability, which is why I’m reviewing a sample. My 5 cl […]
July 11, 2015
Highland Park Valhalla Series – Freya

Highland Park Freya 15 year old review

I haven’t tasted the first two, but I got a chance to try the third release of Highland Park’s Valhalla Collection: Freya, a 15 year old single malt whisky. This one was named after the Norse Goddess of Love. Freya the Goddess was sensitive and wise – a valiant protector of human […]
June 30, 2015
Four Roses logo

Four Roses Small Batch Limited Edition 2014 review

Four Roses Small Batch 2014 is a 9 year old bourbon, containing also bourbons up to 11, 12 and 13 years old. This is a cask strength limited edition by the Four Roses distillery from Lawrenceburg, Kentucky. Every year they release a small batch of this heavier alcohol per volume […]
June 24, 2015
Elements of Islay logo

Elements of Islay Bn4 review

Elements of Islay Bn4 is the fourth batch from Bunnahabhain distillery, bottled by the independent bottler Speciality Drinks. This dark and sweet character felt like a nice addition into the Elements of Islay series, even though I only had a chance to take few sips of it on our way to Taivaanranta […]
June 22, 2015
Nikka whisky logo

Nikka Whisky From The Barrel review

Nikka Whisky From The Barrel is a marriage of malt and grain whisky blended together. It has been bottled directly from the re-casked whisky barrels. This Japanese blend is a prize winning dram – it got the top prize in its category at the World Whisky Awards in 2007 and […]
May 11, 2015
BenRiach logo

BenRiach 17 year old Solstice (2nd edition) review

17 year old Solstice from BenRiach is the second edition of the series in question, replacing the 15 year old single malt whisky, which was well appreciated by Whisky Bible’s Jim Murray. Solstice is distilled from heavily peated malted barley and matured in ex-bourbon casks. Finished in tawny port pipes. […]
May 4, 2015
BenRiach logo

BenRiach 15 year old Single Cask Release 1998 review

Like The Whisky Exchange puts it, “a slightly crazy entry” this BenRiach’s 10th single cask release – malt whisky triple distilled, unlike their regular double distilled spirit. It’s been matured for 15 years and finished in a Pedro Ximenez Sherry Puncheon. 630 bottles has been released. Mine was only a […]
March 7, 2015
Glenlivet logo

The Glenlivet Nadurra 16 year old review

Glenlivet Nàdurra 16 year old is a small batch cask strength single malt whisky, “nadurra” meaning natural in Gaelic. Based on the alcohol per volume level and the time I bought it, I think that this sample is from the batch bottled in January 2014. Resembling a lot of Glenlivet 12YO, which i […]
February 27, 2015
Säntis logo

Säntis Malt Edition Dreifaltigkeit Peated whisky review

Säntis Malt Edition Dreifaltigkeit is a cask strength peated whisky from Switzerland. This beauty has been matured in old (60-130 years old) oak beer casks that were smoked with oak wood by the “Swiss Highlander”. Säntis whisky is a product of Locher brewery – famous for making a wide range […]
February 21, 2015
Elijah Craig Barrel Proof Straight Bourbon Whiskey review | 12 year old cask strength Elijah Craig

Elijah Craig Barrel Proof Straight Bourbon Whiskey review

Elijah Craig Barrel Proof is a small batch 12 year old bourbon by Heaven Hill Distilleries. Bottled cask strength, this batch in question has a whopping 67,4% alcohol per volume level. I had to test this devil neat and boy oh boy, was it spicy and strong! Tough but good […]
February 19, 2015
Willett family estate distillery logo

Willett Single Barrel Rye 4 year old review

Family Estate Bottled Single Barrel Straight Rye Whiskey Aged 4 years, this straight rye whiskey has a mash bill of 95% rye and 5% barley. This rye dram is truly a craft whiskey coming from private family-owned Willett Distilling Company (also known as Kentucky Bourbon Distillers). Willett Single Barrel whiskeys are selected […]
December 19, 2014
Blackadder whisky logo

Amrut Peated Blackadder Raw Cask review

My sample of Blackadder’s Peated Amrut Raw Cask was from the batch of BA14/2012 (62,7% ABV). Amrut’s Peated Blackadder Raw Cask (63% ABV) batch BA18/2013 won Best Peated Whisky 2013 in The Malt Maniacs Awards. The Raw Cask Series contains whisky, that’s been bottled directly from the cask without any filtration. I don’t have […]
August 8, 2014
Old Buck VYS in Panimoravintola Beerhunter's, Pori

Old Buck VYS single malt whisky review

Old Buck got famous in whisky circles, when Jim Murray rated the cask number 5 of the second release with 96 points and “European Mainland Whisky of the Year 2009” award. The first release had gotten 93,5 points and the third release got 95, so there was great consistency in […]
July 20, 2014
Paul John Indian Single Malt logo

Paul John Indian Single Malt Whisky review – Single Cask P1 164

BOLLYWOOD/HOLLYWOOD type of whisky Single Cask P1 164, a cask strength dram from Paul John Whisky from Goa, India. Matured in ex-bourbon casks. This third single cask release from John Distilleries got a Silver medal from the International Spirits Challenge 2013. It is not a Slumdog Millionaire, more like a Bollywood film. Groomed […]
June 24, 2014
Glenfarclas logo

Glenfarclas 105 whisky review

Tasting notes Glenfarclas was the first distillery to release a cask strength single malt whisky in 1968. That CS bottling has since been renamed to 105, which is the British alcohol proof equivalent for 60% ABV (alcohol by volume). Nowadays 60% ABV is referred as 120 proof. That is simply […]
May 16, 2014
Macallan tripack closeup

Macallan 10YO Sherry Oak and Sherry Oak Cask Strength reviews

10YO Sherry Oak – SHERRYBABY right from the start Macallan Sherry Oak is matured in selected sherry oak casks from Jerez. Unlike the Macallan Fine Oak, which is matured in different kind of casks. I got the Macallan tripack, which includes 3 x 33,3 cl of the 10YO, 12YO Elegancia and the […]
April 1, 2014
Big Peat Xmas Edition 2012

Big Peat Christmas Edition 2012 Cask Strength review

Great sequel – DIE HARD II whisky I already reviewed the original Big Peat. This is the same stuff but cask strength. Nice sequel for the “Die Hard whisky“, as I referenced Big Peat. Same ingredients but with more power and explosions. Just like Die Hard II, this dram follows […]
March 27, 2014
Elements of Islay logo

Elements of Islay Lg3 review

I have to admit, This one got me excited before I had even tasted it. Elements of Islay (by Speciality Drinks) with Lg (Lagavulin) attached to it, is something that gets my hopes high. After all, Lagavulin 16YO is my absolute favorite. Fortunately my hopes were matched. Different from the […]
March 19, 2014
Ardbeg Featured Image

Ardbeg Corryvreckan review

Ardbeg distillery is famous for making top notch smoke whisky, their whiskies are usually peated to approximately 50 phenol parts per million (which makes the whisky very smoky). Ardbeg Corryvreckan is a legendary NAS (no age statement) whisky by the Islay based distillery, matured in a combination of first-fill American […]
March 17, 2014
Octomore image

Octomore 5.1 and 4.2 Comus reviews

Bruichladdich Octomore 4.2 Comus/167 ppm Bruichladdich Octomore 4.2 Comus is peated to a great 167 ppm and finished in premium, sweet Sauternes Chateau d’Yquem casks. The finish surely tames the peaty beast, but we are still talking about a very powerful dram. QUANTUM OF SOLACE with peat A big disappointment […]
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