What is talking expert about Colkegan Cask Strength Single Malt

Colkegan Cask Strength Single Malt, crafted by Santa Fe Spirits, is a unique American single malt whiskey that stands out due to its innovative use of mesquite smoke instead of the traditional peat smoke found in many Scotch whiskies. Bottled at a formidable 118 proof, this cask strength expression offers an unfiltered and intense experience that highlights the craftsmanship and distinctive flavors inherent to the high desert of New Mexico.


The Colkegan Cask Strength Single Malt has a striking deep amber color, suggesting a rich and full-bodied spirit. Its viscosity is evident from the slow, thick legs that form when swirled in the glass. The packaging is rustic yet elegant, with a label that emphasizes its artisanal production and high proof, appealing to enthusiasts looking for an authentic and robust whiskey experience.


On the nose, Colkegan Cask Strength Single Malt reveals an intricate and compelling array of aromas. The high proof initially presents a strong alcoholic presence, which quickly mellows to unveil a complex bouquet. The mesquite smoke is at the forefront, offering a sweet, earthy smokiness that differentiates it from the more medicinal or maritime notes of peat smoke. This is complemented by rich notes of caramel, vanilla, and honey, intertwined with dried fruits such as apricots and figs. Subtle hints of leather, dark chocolate, and baking spices like cinnamon and nutmeg add further depth to the aromatic profile.


The first sip of Colkegan Cask Strength Single Malt is a bold and intense experience, befitting its 118 proof. It opens with a robust sweetness, featuring flavors of toffee, brown sugar, and molasses. This initial sweetness is balanced by the distinctive mesquite smoke, which imparts a unique, sweet-and-savory smokiness that is both complex and harmonious. The mid-palate reveals layers of dark chocolate, espresso, and toasted oak, enriched by a subtle spiciness that includes notes of black pepper and clove. The whiskey’s high proof provides a warm and full-bodied mouthfeel, which is surprisingly smooth given its strength. Adding a few drops of water can help open up the flavors, revealing more nuanced notes and tempering the heat.


The finish of Colkegan Cask Strength Single Malt is long, warm, and satisfying. It leaves a lingering smokiness on the palate, accompanied by a residual sweetness that gradually fades. The oak and spice notes persist, along with a subtle hint of leather and dark fruit. The finish is well-balanced, showcasing the whiskey’s depth and complexity without being overpowering.

What is talking expert about Colkegan Cask Strength Single Malt

Colkegan Cask Strength Single Malt, 118 proof, is a remarkable and distinctive whiskey that highlights the innovative spirit of Santa Fe Spirits. Its use of mesquite smoke offers a unique twist on traditional single malt profiles, providing a sweet, earthy smokiness that is both familiar and novel. This whiskey is highly recommended for enthusiasts who appreciate high-proof spirits with complex, layered flavors and a bold character.

Pairing Suggestions

The robust and intense flavor profile of Colkegan Cask Strength Single Malt makes it an excellent pairing with equally bold foods. Consider enjoying it with grilled meats, particularly those with a smoky or spicy rub, such as barbecued ribs or a char-grilled steak. For dessert, dark chocolate or a rich pecan pie can complement the whiskey’s sweetness and smoke. Additionally, its complexity makes it an ideal companion to a fine cigar, enhancing both the drinking and smoking experience.

Overall Rating

Colkegan Cask Strength Single Malt, 118 proof, deserves high praise for its innovative use of mesquite smoke, its rich and complex flavor profile, and its smooth yet intense drinking experience. It stands as a testament to the craftsmanship of Santa Fe Spirits and is a worthy addition to the collection of any whiskey enthusiast seeking a bold and distinctive American single malt.