Interview with: The Single Cask

In one of our recent whisky tasting boxes, our members tried some incredible independent bottlings from cask-strength fanatics, The Single Cask. We really enjoyed trying a selection of Scotch whiskies that were all a little bit different from standard distillery releases, so we tracked down Ed, from their UK team, to find out a little bit more about them.

Interview with Ed from The Single Cask

Let’s start with the obvious - the name. It really must be all about “the single cask” since it’s literally in the name - what started the fascination with single cask whisky?

The Single Cask was founded a few years ago by Ben. Ben started his whisky career in Asia, helping big brands establish their reputations in the region. Naturally he spent a lot of time working on the brands’ core ranges, but what really fascinated him were the single cask releases. These were unique and ever-changing. They were exciting. And today, for us all, single cask whiskies are as exciting as ever.

Speaking of casks, run us through your selection process for each cask you release. What characteristics are you looking for when you review the single casks?

The Single Cask bottles unique whiskies one cask at a time. We search hard to find exceptional single malt whisky, Irish whiskey, and American bourbon. We like whiskies that showcase a distillery’s characteristics or an interesting maturation technique. But in the end, if it’s delicious, we put it in a bottle!

Coming from the Asian market, what challenges or opportunities are there in the UK market for you?

We are a small brand, a small team. Just six of us. So a big focus has to be ensuring our voice is heard. But while we may be small, we are super passionate about what we do - and we have complete faith in the whisky we bottle. So the opportunity is simply getting our single cask releases into whisky lovers’ hands, and then letting the whisky do the talking. That’s why we’re delighted to be working with The Dram Team. We hope, and believe, Dram Team members will love September’s whiskies.

What do you think sets you apart from other independent whisky bottlers?

I feel independent bottlers are a great way of finding unique, quality, fairly-priced whiskies. I know The Dram Team are also fans as I’ve had the pleasure of trying a few of your ‘Incredible Indies’ tasting sets. So, I’d recommend everyone check the indies out.

As people explore, they should visit our website and take a look. Everything we do is done with a big heart. We search hard for the best quality casks. We bottle at cask strength, natural colour and non chill filtered. Our bottles are styled like decanters that make putting one on the table, as you’re surrounded by friends, the celebration that it should be. And we love talking with all customers on social media.

Do you have any favourites from The Single Cask releases, either current or past?

I have a whisky for every time and place, so I wager I’d be able to describe all our whiskies as favourites!  But here’s a peak at my whisky shelf at the moment:

  • Caol Ila 6 year old. The ocean’s salt and seashells meet peat-smoked bacon. Yum.
  • English 7 year old. A myth-buster than any fan of peated Islay whisky must try.
  • Glentauchers 22 ex-sherry. Rich, velvet luxury in a bottle. A real treat.
  • Tormore 23 year old. A distillery showcase that will leave Tormore fans saying ‘wow’.
You’ve got a really interesting sister project called The Final Cut. Tell us a little about that.

Cask strength whisky often has a high percentage of alcohol. Adding a little water removes any alcohol prickle and allows the whisky to open up. As the whisky opens and relaxes, it unlocks more flavour molecules; which means you’ll be able to enjoy more aromas and pick out new tasting notes.

We’ve always wanted to put customers in control of that process. It's why we bottle at cask strength, because it allows the drinker to enjoy the dram to their own tastes, at their ideal strength.  We’ve gone one step further with The Final Cut.  As well as 100ml of a single cask, cask strength, whisky each set includes 100ml of Uisge Source spring water from the same region as the dram, a Glencairn glass, and a glass pipette.  Everything one needs to create the perfect dram!

Try more whiskies like The Single Cask

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Oh, and if you'd like to know more about why we love independent bottlers like The Single Cask, read this blog post!