Some of the CS whiskies I have recommend 2 parts water to 1 part whisky. Amazing!
Bring on the quadruple filtered Bruichladdich...
Admiral wrote:It would be very, very rare for me to add water to a CS malt. In the last six months, I can think of only two casks (out of about 40 different whiskies) that I felt were in need of water.
I am right with Admiral on this one.
6 months to a year ago I was all into half and half for a cask strength whisky. But these days it is very, very, very rare for me to add water.
Also I find that when in the mouth the cask strengths make me salivate to such an extent that I do not need any additional water. I call it a tastebud orgasm
vitara7 wrote:i feel whats the point in buying cask strength, just to dilute it... youd be as well letting them do that for you and buying the 40% version of it...
Well, there are several reasons. First, hardly any whisky is sold at different ABV's (Cadenhead sometimes does it). Second, I think it's nice that I can decide for myself what the optimal drinking strength is, depending on the whisky. I usually end up with something between 45-50%. Finally, a number of bottlers tend to release their best whisky at cask strength (Douglas Laing, Duncan Taylor).
When I taste a whisky 'seriously' I taste it neat with some drops of water to open it up and then add some more water to see how it interacts with the water. For drinking, I prefer to water it down right away (with care, a 'splash' can easily drown it).
Regarding the comment about drinking the 40-something % ABV instead: if you dilute Laphroaig 10yo C/S and mistake it for Laphroaig 10yo, I'd have to say that your tastebuds really are scorched.
I remember the first time I had Lagavulin 16yo. I could taste EVERYTHING. I could sit there and nose it for hours marveling at the complexity and picturing myself on a foggy pier by the beach (with a burning bag of garden mulch right next to me of course ). When I drink whisky on a nightly basis, my nosing and tasting abilities are not 20/20 any more. I can't get the experience that I used to--all of the aromas and flavors are subdued like flowers instead of perfume (bad analogy...haha).
Neat cask strength whisky just speeds up that process for me. Sure, that one dram is a real adrenaline rush, but then I can't taste as much for the rest of the night...and if I have a lot of drams, maybe even the next few nights after that.
Trust me, I've tried to convert, but I just get more out of it with my taste buds and nose intact.
pg, I think most people in the industry feel as you do--certainly most professional blenders. That's why you so often see heavy dilution advocated on the box blurbs. The feeling seems to be two-fold--it allows one to tease out more flavors, and it saves the palate. A notable exception is Jim Murray, who always tastes neat...and he tastes a lot!
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