Cask Strength Calamity!

My continued blind tasting sessions threw a bit of a wobbler recently.

Randomly chosen from a selection of 8 bottles – I failed to identify any of the 4 samples – failed to detect some of the cask influences & failed to enjoy the cask strength couple.

They were – in order of preference;

Stout Cask c/oCelticWhiskeyShop

West Cork, Black’s Stout Cask, Blend, 40%

I found this a very easy & enjoyable, quite clean & sweet, attractively approachable whiskey which despite being relatively simple – hit the right notes.

The reveal surprised me a little as I didn’t detect any stout influence.

Black Op’s c/oCelticWhiskeyShop

Black Op’s, Blend, 43%

A more complex whiskey offering greater depth of flavour from a sherry influence – I guessed Oloroso? – that again satisfied.

It just lost out to the simple pleasures of the Stout Cask.

Dark Silkie CS c/oSliabhLiag

Dark Silkie, Cask Strength, Blend, 64.5%

Wow!

The high ABV was noticeable from the go. Nice clean & fresh flavours – but the high strength just obliterated my palate & left me reeling.

The peat influence must have been subtle – as I didn’t detect it!

Currach CS c/oCelticWhiskeyShop

Currach Founders, Cask Strength, Single Malt, 60%

Again the high ABV swamped my senses. The more subtle & smooth flavours emanating from this whiskey were lost in a powerful alcohol hit.

I was disappointed by the reveal – I really enjoyed the 46% version & thought nothing had been gained by being 60%.

So there you go.

A good clean & simple 40% blend won out over the high strength competitors.

What would your palate pick?

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