Water Or Ice?

27 March 2016

Whisky purists will argue that whisky is best served neat. Here we explore the positive and negative aspects of adding either water or ice to your dram. 

Adding water

The most noticeable difference comes when nosing. Adding too much water to your whisky can close up its complexity, however adding a few drops opens up different, subtle and sometimes new flavours that haven’t previously been experienced. Cask strength whisky can result in burning in your mouth, overpowering some of the prominent flavours. When whisky is combined with water, the liquid temperature increases, enabling ones sense of smell to work a lot better, also reducing the burn.

Adding ice

Ice locks in and supresses the flavour of whisky. Although it will make your dram more refreshing and calm on the tongue, it can also make it dull and flat. It’s better to use big ice blocks that haven’t been prepared too well in advance. Bigger ice blocks melt slower than smaller ones, diluting your whisky at a more healthy pace. With the use of ice, aromas and taste only start to open up and reveal their characteristics when the whisky begins warming up to room temperature.