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The World’s Strongest Whiskeys (Scotch, Bourbon, Irish, Rye)

By Last Updated: September 19th, 2022Categories: Alcohol

So far, the world’s strongest whiskey is Bruichladdich X4 Quadrupled Whisky which has a shocking strength: 92%, 184 proof. According to their manager, the recipe and production method of this strongest single malt scotch whiskey is from a book that was written 300 years ago.

Interestingly, in this book, there’s a description of this spirit. It wrote:

If you take one spoonful, you live forever. If you take two spoonfuls, you go blind. And if you take three spoonfuls, you would die.

We can take it as a joke though. But there’s something true about it: you should never drink any 92% ABV alcohol. Even one single sip in your mouth is capable of burning your tongue. Swallow it? The esophagus and stomach will soon follow.

Murdering is surely not the target of Bruichladdich, so they never have the plan of bottling and selling this undiluted concoction. For any whiskey drinkers who want to try something really tough, forget about that 92% strength killer. Let’s look at something more rational: 55% to 75% strength, for every category of whiskey, including scotch, Bourbon, rye, etc.

Tip: Why Should You Try Strong Whiskey

For whiskey drinkers, you may sometimes think the liquors you have in the glass are too soft though it’s 80 or 100 proof. That’s normal because distilleries will cut the liquors to a more popular and softer 80 proof or slightly higher, 90 or 100 proof.

By doing that, they can sell more bottles as most people can handle 80 to 100 proof drinks. For beginners, it’s easier to take the challenge of drinking whiskey and taste the flavors of whiskey.

However, on the other side, the complex flavor is watered down and is too mild and light for some experienced drinkers.

The World’s Strongest Whiskeys (Scotch, Bourbon, Irish, Rye)

Distilleries know the hunger of old drinkers too.

More Brands not only sell standard editions that are 40% to 50% strength but have also bottled and released some stronger whiskeys with higher strength, 55% to 75% ABV, named “Cask Strength” or “Barrel Proof”.

Compared to the standard bottles, these cask-strength whiskeys are more alcoholic and flavorful, and relatively, more expensive.

People always say that one sip of the cask-strength whiskey is like breathing inside the barrel of aging the liquors. Pour some, add a few drops of water to open the flavor, and take a sip, it’s a whole different world!

The World’s Strongest Whiskeys (Scotch, Bourbon, Irish, Rye)

Note that you’d better finish one bottle months after you open it, otherwise, you will lose its flavors bit by bit as time goes by. You may learn how to preserve your whiskeys before it turns into “water” or goes bad.

Popular Strong Scotch Whiskey: Aberlour A’bunadh

  • Type: Single Mal Whiskey
  • Strength: 59.9% to 61.2% (depending on the year of release)
  • Price: Start at around $100
  • Region: Speyside, Scotland
  • Distiller: Aberlour

Distilled in the famous Aberlour, this Speyside single malt scotch is something that you should never miss.

Aged and matured in Spanish oak oloroso sherry barrels, this classic Speyside single malt is a perfect sipper that will give you a rich, sherried, and flavorful enjoyment.

Put the dram close to the nose. That strong alcoholic smell will turn you on and let you know that this is not some soft and light juice. But later, you will feel the complex aroma of warm baking spice, some nuts, fruit, and honey.

The World’s Strongest Whiskeys (Scotch, Bourbon, Irish, Rye)

With one sip, you can feel the power of this sherried bomber.

  • First, you will taste the dominant spicy of high proof, but never intense. It makes you frown a sec or two, the unique sherried sweetness eases every bud.
  • Then comes the special baking spices, cooked fruits, and chocolate.
  • That elevated sherried note on the palate is such a punch! With that long, pleasing, relaxing finish, you will love the warmness of this spirit.

Though that high proof is pretty scary, this cask strength never overwhelms all drinkers. Still, if you hate something that is sweet and thick, this sherried cask strength is not for you.

For Islay peated scotch lovers, a Laphroaig 10-Year-Old Cask Strength (58%) and Ardbeg Uigeadail (54.2%) are both absolute go-to.

The World’s Strongest Whiskeys (Scotch, Bourbon, Irish, Rye)

Popular Strong Bourbon Whiskeys: Elijah Craig Barrel Proof

  • Type: Straight Bourbon
  • Strength: 59.1% – 69.4%
  • Price: $60 – $70
  • Region: Kentucky, United States
  • Distiller: Elijah Craig

Every bourbon drinker should have an Elijah Craig Small Batch on their shelf for sipping. It doesn’t have any complex flavor as other bourbons have. It will just give you the pure taste of bourbon. Everything is so classic, sweet, thick, and oaky.

Once you think of a Small Batch weak, easy, try the Barrel Proof.

Starting from 2013, Elijah Craig releases 2 or 3 batches every year. Up to now, there’re a few dozen editions available. Amazingly, each batch tastes different. Some are spicier, some are smoother, and some are more complex.

The World’s Strongest Whiskeys (Scotch, Bourbon, Irish, Rye)

That cask strength with upgraded flavors will please you all day with a dam.

The great balance of vanilla, caramel, fruit, oak, and a few herbal notes will ease your tongue.

The high proof does make it hard when you let it sit in your mouth for seconds. But while tasting it, the evident spicy of alcohol is companied by a perfect mixed taste of wood, honey, fruit, and nuts. Excitingly powerful and rich.

The World’s Strongest Whiskeys (Scotch, Bourbon, Irish, Rye)

Nothing is overwhelming here. It burns a little, then it pleases your tongue with its delicious fruity and nut sweetness.

Also, compared to other top-shelf cask strength, this Elijah Craig straight bourbon costs you only $60 to 70. Others? 100 or 150 bucks at least. Also, it’s not a limited edition. So you can buy one on some markets anytime.

Popular Strong Rye Whiskeys: Knob Creek Cask Strength Rye

  • Type: Rye
  • Strength: 59.8%
  • Price: $70
  • Region: Kentucky, United States
  • Distiller: Jim Beam

At the 2018 San Francisco World Spirits Competition, this bottle was phrased as the “Best Rye Whiskey”. It’s a fine, affordable, and barrel-proof rye. Though Knob Creek says this is a limited edition, you can still buy it in most stores at a price of $60 to $70.

It’s believed that this straight rye is aged for 9 years. It’s never cut and filtered which makes this drink chewy, oily, strong, and aggressive.

The World’s Strongest Whiskeys (Scotch, Bourbon, Irish, Rye)

With one sip, you get the warm Kentucky hug – spicy, sweet, and charred oaky. If you like rye, this is going to make you happy all day with just a dam. The only complaint I have about this bottle is that it’s more alcoholic rye. It doesn’t really have other a lot of special characteristics.

If you want something more flavored, you may order a Kentucky Owl Rye Batch. However, it’s twice the price of Knob Creek Cask Strength Rye.

Popular Strong Irish Whiskeys: Redbreast 12 Cask Strength (57-59% ABV)

  • Type: Irish Whiskey
  • Strength: 55% – 59%
  • Price: $70 – $90
  • Region: Republic of Ireland
  • Distiller: Midleton

In 2018, the world’s most famous Irish whiskey brand Jameson released its first cask strength: the Jameson Bow Street 18 Years Cask Strength. It’s expensive – around $150 and of course, very high quality.

However, you can get almost the same quality with just half the price on Redbreast 12 Cask Strength, a nice and classic pot still Irish whiskey.

The World’s Strongest Whiskeys (Scotch, Bourbon, Irish, Rye)

As the world’s most popular single pot still Irish whiskey producer, Redbreast does almost perfect for every process of making their whiskeys.

  • Fermented from a mash of 100% local barley, malted and unmalted;
  • Distilled triple in special copper pot stills;
  • Aged in both bourbon and oloroso sherry casks;
  • Bottled without cutting.

Aged and matured in American bourbon charred barrels and Spanish Oloroso Sherry oak butts, this juice is like a gift from god – the complexity of flavors is amazing.

Also, it’s bottled without diluting, and that high proof strengthens the spicy to the complexity.

The 12-year aging has made that spicy mild, creating a perfect balance between the spicy and sweetness. The storm of spices and tropical fruits is invading and attacking every bit of your mouth. Try to add a few drops of water and drink it, all aromas are released. All hints are disclosed.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can you drink 100% alcohol?2022-09-07T07:52:40+00:00

No, you can’t. 100% alcohol is also called rubbing alcohol. It’s mostly used as a cleaner and disinfectant. Researches show that 90% to 100% alcohol will burn the esophagus. And even if you try to water it down to something lower than 90% and drink it, there’s a higher chance for you to block out and die. 1 to 3 ounces of 100% alcohol can get you drunk, 8 ounces will kill you or at least, burn your inners.

Which alcohol is most powerful?2022-09-07T07:51:41+00:00

The world’s strongest liquor is Spirytus Stawski, a Polish vodka that has 96% strength. You must not drink it directly. It burns every part of your body that it passes, your tongue, throat, and stomach.

2022-09-19T01:48:34+00:00