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Article: An exciting new way to taste Single Cask Whisky

An exciting new way to taste Single Cask Whisky

An exciting new way to taste Single Cask Whisky


Welcome to The Single Cask whisky moods

Have you ever found yourself standing at a bar, scanning the shelves proudly adorned with whisky bottles, pondering one crucial question – “What am I in the mood for?”

Isn’t it wonderful how selecting the perfect dram can be such a quandary? Scotch whisky offers the most widespread and diverse range of flavours of any drink. Within this, single cask scotch whiskies add layers of individuality, uniqueness, and eccentricity that elevate the flavour options to astronomical heights.

Having so much choice brings its own challenges, however. Whisky flavours range from the sweet and floral, to spicy and rich, and to charred and burnt. But it doesn’t stop there. How about the nutty whiskies, the oily ones, the gentle ones, the feisty ones, the grassy ones, or even those seaside ones. The list becomes endless. Therefore, attempting to group whiskies by flavour can feel like herding cats. So what’s the answer?

The conundrum of whisky flavour

Each single cask of whisky will only yield just a few hundred bottles, and sometimes not even that. Bottles that will never again be repeated. Every cask is a unique experience too, and while having knowledge of distillery styles can help, a single cask can wander far from the expected path. Therefore, creating a simple and meaningful way to navigate single cask whisky flavours is of the utmost importance.

You may have experienced for yourself how whisky tasting notes can be confusing. Such a menagerie of complexities can sometimes hinder finding the answer to a simple question – “Am I in the mood for this whisky – yes or no?” Categories of whisky can create perplexity too. A classic ‘fruity’ category may not provide enough information. But creating a comprehensive list of categories can lead into double figures. It’s a tricky problem to tackle.

The character of Single Cask Whisky

At The Single Cask we have become acutely aware of the connection between whisky flavour and charisma. Like each and every one of us, a single cask whisky has its own unique charismatic charm. When we discuss whisky we talk about its character. Its personality. Its individuality. Just as if it were a reflection of ourselves or others that we know. If we close our eyes we could even picture a dram as a little personality. Perhaps a busy apple picker, or a jolly toffee maker, or even a grumpy fisherman stuck up a chimney!

When we picture whiskies as personalities, they become easy to relate to. We can instantly identify with the mood of the whisky. How it feels. And how it will make us feel. This immediate connection transcends the complexities of single malt tasting notes. It’s not something we have to process and rationalise. It’s an emotional response that we feel deep inside.

Welcome to The Single Cask whisky moods

At The Single Cask we have developed a new approach to broadly conveying a whisky’s character. One that is simple, quick, and also fun. Our many years of experience in assessing single malt whisky casks has given us first-hand knowledge of whisky flavours. It has allowed us to create just five categories that cater for every whisky style, character, and personality.


The first cluster of whiskies are the Cheerful types. These are the well-mannered, joyful, effortless, and dependable whiskies that suit any occasion. The crowd-pleasing drams that are impossible not to fall in love with. They are for when you are in the mood for something easy, friendly and delicious. Or perhaps you wish to convert a whisky sceptic!


Playful whiskies are the ones that bounce around your mouth. Full of life, enthusiasm and excitement, they tickle the taste buds and nibble the nose. A wee bit cheeky at times, they live for those moments when you want to feel alive, celebrate friendships, and enthusiastically say – slàinte mhòr!


The third category is for seekers of big, powerful, and strong whiskies. These Bold drams are veritable sledgehammers with their assertive, rich and deep characters. They are all about grabbing flavour by the horns and taking your senses for some wild adventures. Fans of big sherry cask whiskies and Islay single malts will feel right at home here! 


Due to their idiosyncratic nature, single cask whiskies can often throw curve-ball flavours from your glass. The Curious ones that surpise, astound, yet delight. Characters that dare to be different by veering from the common path. Characters that cause you to stop and think. To contemplate subtle nuances and intersting combinations.


The final category are those Easygoing, laid back, and mellow drams that say, “Please take your time”. These are the kind of whsikies to relax to. When time stands still and the only thing on your agenda is getting to know some fascinating flavours. Relaxing, tranquil, and comforting experiences for when you’re in the mood to simply unwind.

Whisky moods are your flavour compass

You may have noticed something glaringly obvious. Our mood categories make no mention of flavours as such. We believe that the overall ‘charisma’ of a dram is more important than it’s individual flavours. For example, some people may avoid peated whiskies because they are too powerful. But certain peated whiskies are in fact very gentle, mellow and easygoing, especially as they get older. So by avoiding peated whiskies altogether you may be missing out on some incredible experiences.

We encourage you to begin thinking about whisky in terms of mood, rather than flavours alone. Your mood. The whisky’s mood. The mood of the moment. Use our mood guides to effortlessly point you in the right direction like a flavour compass. From there you can have a read of the tasting notes to see if the flavours are the ones you are seeking.

The next time you are pondering, “What am I in the mood for?”, there’s a good chance you’ll discover something new and exciting that you hadn’t considered before. Give it a try by heading over to our shop and see which of our latest single cask whisky releases will be the best whisky for your mood right now.

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