Cask strength scotches are not everyone’s cup of tea, but it is something you must have in your collection if you are a hardcore fan of whiskey.
Cask Strength Scotches are entirely unadulterated as they are bottled right from the barrel. Because of that, the best cask strength scotch whiskey will have a higher ABV percentage.
I have made a list that can help you find the best cask strength Scotch according to your preference.
Best Cask Strength Scotch Reviewed
#1. Glenfarclas 105 Cask Strength Scotch Whiskey
Distiller/Bottler: Glenfarclas Distillery
Age: 8-10 Years (Approximately)
The Glenfarclas Scotch is made using newly harvested barley, properly mashed, and malted with water. After that, it is fermented by an exclusive yeast culture.
The remaining liquid after fermentation is distilled a couple of times through the Glenfarclas’ copper-pot stills. Glenfarclas Distillery still uses traditional direct-heated stills that keep the antique flavors of the cask-strength Scotch whiskey.
After completing the distillation process, the whiskey is then matured for a period of 8 to 10 years to attain its flavors.
This scotch has a deep golden color. You will get an aroma of pears, apples, and dark coffee once you dilute it with some water. It also contains notes of sherry, oak, and rich spices on the palate. The scotch finishes with an irresistible smoky flavor.
#2. Laphroaig 10-Year-Old Cask Strength Single Malt Scotch Whiskey
Distiller/Bottler: Laphroaig Distillery
Age: 10 Years
Laphroaig Scotch whiskey is made using the best Scottish barley, malted at the distillery, and then smoked in a peat flame. The peat used for smoking is made from the mosses, heather, and lichens of Islay, which results in an iodine-like flavor.
Once the whiskey is peated and malted, it is first fermented and then distilled twice through copper-pot stills. It is then eventually kept in oak barrels for ten years to mature and attain its intense flavors. In the end, it is re-charred, which caramelizes the leftover sugars in the barrel and adds sweet notes of nutty dough and vanilla to the whiskey.
It also has a salty tang that mashes well with the sweetness of Laphroaig Single Malt Scotch.
With a golden honey color, the Laphroaig has an aroma of seaweed and smoke with a touch of vanilla. The Initial flavors are quite intense and have notes of smoke and peat with some undertones of tang, nutty dough, honey, and vanilla. It finishes with a sweet lingering taste.
#3. Highland Park Cask Strength No. 1 Release
Distiller/Bottler: Highland Park Distillery
Age: Not Stated
The Highland Park Cask Strength No. 1 Release is among the best-rated cask strength scotch. Highland still malt, hand-turn, and peat its barley, using regionally cut peat from the Hobbister Moor.
The peat coming from Hobbister Moor has a lower consistency of lignin compared to Islay and more derivatives of carbohydrates.
Highland Park whiskey is filled with the traditional malty flavors mixed with subtle notes of smoke, making it an excellent cask strength scotch.
The golden scotch gives you sweet floral notes along with a hint of vanilla when you open the bottle. It has a rich palate with heather honey, toffee, nutmeg, fresh ripe citrus, and smoke. The drink will finish with spice, smoke, and crème brûlée flavors.
#4. Tamdhu Batch Strength #3
Distiller/Bottler: Tamdhu Distillery
Age: Not Stated
Tamdhu is among the most reputed and oldest scotch brands. The Tamdhu Batch Strength #3 is the third edition of the award-winning series. It is colored naturally at 58.3 percent ABV. The flavors in this scotch have a vibrant depth and will be more complex than a usual drink because of its special maturation process. The process takes place in specially hand-picked sherry oak casks.
Just like its predecessors, this batch is distinctive and varies somewhat in strength and style.
The whiskey starts with little light notes of winter berries and vanilla with little freshly-shelled nuts, supported through aged oak on the nose. You will get hints of sherry oak developing warming species and dried fruit on the palate.
Adding a little water gives a fresh citrus zest with rich apricot. In the end, there are notes of orange peel with fruitcake to finish your drink.
#5. Ardbeg Corryvreckan Single Malt Scotch Whiskey
Distiller/Bottler: Ardbeg Distillery
Age: 10 Years
Ardbeg uses malted barley for its scotch whiskey, which is peated to nearly fifty phenol parts per million. After peating and mashing, the barley is fermented in Oregon pine washbacks. The wooden washbacks absorb the heat generated during the fermentation, resulting in more prosperous and lighter whiskey.
The fermentation lasts for 55 hours, and then the whiskey is distilled twice, initially by copper-pot wash still and secondly with a copper-pot spirit still.
The purification gives the whiskey a malty and fresh flavor. It is matured in a combination of used French oak casks and American oak casks. It is bottled at 114 proof after its matured.
The Ardbeg Corryvreckan gives the aroma of linseed oil, smoky peat, dark chocolate, and dark cherries. There are black fruit, plums, orange marmalade, and seaweed supported by a peaty and bold undertone in the palate.
The whiskey finishes with lingering notes of chocolate and chili peppers.
#6. GlenAllachie 10-Year-Old Batch 1 Single Malt Scotch Whiskey
Distiller/Bottler: Glenallachie Distillery
Age: 10 Years
The GlenAllachie has a history of over 50 years that started from Banffshire, at Ben Rinnes. It is still fairly new and among the youngest distilleries in Scotland.
The distillery is designed so that it is gravity fed and features horizontal condensers to maintain a steady temperature giving a nice consistency to the whiskey. GlenAllachie Batch Single Malt Scotch is aged for at least ten years in various casks like virgin oak, first-fill bourbon, Pedro Ximénez sherry casks, and Oloroso sherry. It gives the whiskey a unique flavor filled with sweetness and Caribbean spices.
There are notes of toffee apples, heather honey, and sweet spice once you open the bottle, followed by orange peel layers. The palate oozes with multiple notes of vanilla, heather honey, and toffee. The drink finishes with a hint of orange peel, eucalyptus, and Caribbean spices.
#7. Cragganmore Natural Cask Strength
Distiller/Bottler: Cragganmore Distillery
Age: Not Stated
The Cragganmore Natural Cask Strength is specially made using lightly smoked barley. The barley is mashed in stainless steel mash tuns in the distillery, followed by fermentation in washbacks made from European larch.
The larch washbacks are challenging to maintain, but they absorb some heat produced during fermentation and therefore provide a strong flavor to the scotch.
After that, the scotch is distilled a couple of times by copper-pot stills. The distillery’s special flat-topped stills, combined with traditional worm-tubs (most distilleries have cooling condensers), enhances the complexity of the flavor of the whiskey.
It has the typical sweet and soft nose displays of the Speyside distillery with vanilla and fruit notes. It’s quite intense on the palate, balanced with oak, malt, fruit, spice, and honey notes. It finishes with a warm and long lingering continuation of its notes.
#8. Benromach Cask Strength Vintage 2008 (Batch 1)
Distiller/Bottler: Benromach Distillery
Age: 10 Years
The Benromach Cask Strength scotch whiskey is matured in bourbon and first-fill sherry barrels. It is then bottled at a cask strength of 57.9 percent ABV after ten years of aging. This single malt series is the new version of the brand’s 100 Proof in the Classic range.
The whiskey is distilled in traditional pot stills with 100 percent malted barley. It gives a playful tingle on the tongue at cask strength with its vibrant and robust flavor.
It has primarily notes of ripe apple parts and pear skins. The Benromach’s signature smoky barbecue and sweet aromas are the first things you receive from this scotch, followed by whiffs of dried oregano and cherry syrup.
You will also fill a little bit of sulfur on the palate, but they will be accompanied by red fruits and black pepper, combined with earthy, smokey peat. There will be some hints of dark chocolate and ripe banana too.
In this article, we described some of the very best cask strength Scotches. Cask strength scotch whiskeys are usually very rich in flavor and have a high ABV percentage, bottled right from the barrels.
Cask strength whiskeys are not necessarily for everyone and should be taken in moderation even by experienced drinkers of Scotch whiskeys. Ensure never to rush while drinking a cask strength Scotch. I hope this guide will help you in finding the best cask strength Scotch whiskeys for yourself