A little more than a month ago I came across a number of older bottles of single malts by independent bottlers. There were a number different malts but only one or two of each, all marked down for clearance. Coincidentally, at the regular Friday evening pub night, a friend asked about when I was going to hold another scotch tasting. That gave me the idea of having a cask strength scotch tasting based on the bottles I had seen. Last week I held the tasting, a dozen of us tasting nine cask strength scotches and one rum by an independent bottler. Hampden 12, Jamaica (53.1%), distilled 2000, bottled 2012 (Scotland) by Duncan Taylor - 233 bottles from Cask 122 Linkwood 10 Year, (57.7%), distilled 1996, bottled 2007 by Dewar Rattray - 302 bottles from Cask 3982 (Bourbon). Royal Lochnagar 10 Year, (59.6%), distilled 1996, bottled 2006 by Dewar Rattray - 710 bottles from Cask 515 (Refill Butt). Clynelish 10 Year, (59.7%), distilled 1996, bottled 2006 by Dewar Rattray - 577 bottles from Cask 8251 (Sherry Refill). Mcduff 14 Year, (54.8%), distilled 1998, bottled 2012 by Duncan Taylor - bottle 98 of 223 from Cask 2274. Mortlach 15 Year, (53.8%), distilled 1996, bottled 2012 by Duncan Taylor - bottle 251 of 317 from Cask 262. Glen Garioch 16 Year, (52.5%, distilled 1990, bottled 2007 by Dewar Rattray - 264 bottles from Cask 4125 (Bourbon). Tomatin 2002, 13 year old (55.1%), bottled 2015 for Liquor Depot - bottle 338 of 650, finished in PX Sherry Cask. Kilkerran 8 Year Old Cask Strength (55.7%), Original Distillery, Second Batch of the Cask Strength - lightly peated. Elements of Islay 'Peat' Full Proof (59.3%), Islay Blended Malt by Specialty Drinks of The Whisky Exchange - full blown peat. We tasted them at full strength and incrementally added water to taste. The rum was much admired, very distillte driven and complex. Other favourites were the Clynelish 10, the Macduff 14, the Mortlach 15, as well as the Glen Garioch 16. I am rapidly developing a fondness for cask strength bottles. Cheers .................. Mahmoud.