Whiskeys, being cask-aged, take on important flavours and aromas from the wooden barrels they are aged in. Using ice cubes to chill whiskey tends to congeal these flavours and aromas, and some connoisseurs consider that adding ice cubes to good whiskey is tantamount to disrespecting it! Your favourite whiskey, which first spent many years ageing in wooden barrels, and then probably travelled half way across the globe before being poured into your glass, is definitely worthy of your greatest respect.
Chilling your whiskey too much eliminates important flavour notes and detracts from the overall experience. Conversely, if the whiskey is too warm, it releases its alcohol, leading to a harsher taste on the palette and a less enjoyable experience. So what's to be done?
The earliest Scottish distillers used pebbles from the cold mountain streams of Scotland to cool down their whiskey. Folklore is that the term 'whiskey on the rocks' was born from that ancient practice. Then along came ice cubes, and with ice cubes replacing rocks, the true enjoyment of drinking whiskey was lost. The perfect solution which allows you to enjoy whiskey as it is meant to be enjoyed is now here! Your whiskey will be cooled just enough, whatever dilution you have chosen will remain constant, and the taste of the last sip will be identical to the taste of the first sip.
Hathberry Corp is pleased to present 'On the Rocks' whiskey stones!What are whiskey stones?
Whiskey Stones are not ice cubes and WILL NOT chill your whiskey like ice cubes do. They are crafted from a special variety of soapstone that you keep in the freezer, and when the urge for a fine whiskey hits you, take three stones and drop them into your glass.
The purpose of whiskey stones is to impart just enough chill to your whiskey, (whether neat or with a splash of water) without diluting it further, or dulling the flavours by making it too cold.
There is an art to drinking whiskey. But what exactly does one need to do to get into a favourite whiskey and really sample its many flavours and aromas? All across the globe, people mix whiskey with carbonated water and other similar stuff. They even take shots! But that's not the way to truly appreciate it, and it's not the way a connoisseur would drink it. A fine whiskey, unlike other kinds of alcohol, is best enjoyed without mixing it with anything, and sipping it slowly enough that you can enjoy it to the fullest extent.
Here's what the experts say about how to drink whiskey to truly enjoy it: Drink it neat, or with just a little bit of water. But never, ever dishonour it by mixing it with anything else, not even ice or soda, and DEFINITELY not carbonated water.
Whiskey at a temperature below 15° C will not yield up its full bouquet of aromas. On the other hand, whiskey at a temperature above 18° C will release its alcohol, masking its aroma and leading to a harsher experience. Of course, adding ice will shut down the aromas altogether!
For all that's good in life, there are rules, and as you are probably beginning to discern, so it is with drinking whiskey! According to acknowledged experts, the following steps are the proper way to really enjoy your favourite whiskey, beginning even before the first pour.1. Choose a proper glass.
You're not going to be taking shots, so you'll want a wide glass you can sip from. If the glass curves in at the top, it will help trap in some of the drink's aromas.2. Pour about 60 ml. of whiskey into the glass
You can drink as much or as little as you want, but 60 ml is usually a good amount to start with. If you are one of those who drink your whiskey with water, add just a splash of water. Experts say that the optimal alcohol content of the whiskey should be brought down to 35%. Of course, an equal number of experts say that the whiskey should be neat. Each to his own!3. Add whiskey stones
Take 3 whiskey stones from the freezer and put them into the glass. The stones should have been in the freezer for at least 4 hours. Do not add any more water and (Heavens above!) do not add ice. Wait for a few minutes for the stones to subtly chill the whiskey down to the perfect temperature.4. Look at the whiskey
Swirl the whiskey around the glass, coating its sides thoroughly. Then wait and watch, as the liquid runs down the side of the glass, the 'legs' of the whiskey. Hold it up to the light. See how the whiskey refracts the light. Notice how the colour of the liquor changes at different angles, from light brown to auburn to the colour of the dark brown wooden casks in which it was matured.5. Take a good whiff
Put your nose as close to the whiskey as you can, but try not to get so close that the aroma of the alcohol burns your nose. Take a few good, deep breaths and inhale the aromas. This is called 'nosing'. Breathe out through your mouth, but not back into the glass. Take note of every type of aroma you can identify.6. Take a sip
Let it cascade down your tongue. Swish it around a bit so it touches every bit of your mouth and you can pick out all the flavours it has to offer.7. Swallow
Feel the warmth of the liquid as it goes down your throat. Divine, isn't it!