Drinking Cask Strength Whiskey

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Drinking Cask Strength Whiskey

Postby mcalpin1 » Fri May 09, 2003 12:59 am

Now that I have a bottle of cask strength... 120 proof, what is the recommended method of drinking it?

Sure, I could just drink it like a man... but do some of you add distilled water to your drink?

Is there a formula to convert a 120 proof to 80 proof by adding distilled water?

Do you add anything?

Looking for education.

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Postby Admiral » Fri May 09, 2003 3:12 am

We're all different, so we all probably have different preferences, but my practice with cask strengths is as follows:

1. Extensive nosing of undiluted dram.
2. Depending on the malt in question, possibly take a small sip of it undiluted, but move it rapidly over the tongue before swallowing, so as not to anaesthetise the taste buds. Enjoy and assess the flavours.
3. Add a splash of water, say maybe a third of a dram. However, better to do this in small increments, so as not to over-dilute it in one hit. Don't get too bogged down in trying to measure "the exact" amount of water. Just add a splash until the sharpness and harshness of the high proof is reduced to your comfort level. Now enjoy the nose and flavours again.
4. Settle back and enjoy!

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Postby mcalpin1 » Fri May 09, 2003 4:07 am

Dram? Is a dram close to a 0.5 (1/2) tablespoon?

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Postby Gate » Fri May 09, 2003 12:23 pm

For "dram" here read "what you put in the glass to start with". So, you start with as much as you like (call it two fingers), and after nosing and a bit of careful tasting undiluted, etc., work splash by splash towards adding a third as much water again as you have whisky in the glass. But keep testing along the way so you don't over-dilute. It's remarkable how different whiskies take more or less water - even different bottlings of the same whisky. And then again, sometimes you come across a whisky that drinks so well at cask strength that it's a shame not to just settle back and enjoy it as it comes (I have found Mortlach and Rosebank in particular seem to come across brilliantly at high or cask strength, as do quite a few bourbons.) As to what water you use, I think it's down to individual taste. I find tap water mostly works perfectly well, but so does still mineral water (Highland Spring, etc.). But not Vichy water - unless you like your whisky to have added notes of wet dog.

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