Adding Water To Scotch?

BJ@LW&WW

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So what's the vote from Sherdogs Scotch drinkers on adding water to scotch? I see a lot of stuff on the web about adding a just a few drops of water to some scotch to 'open it up.' Every time I see someone try to explain how water manages to do that, it's usually some broscience garbage.

So do you agree that adding just a few drops of water to scotch does something profound to it's taste? And if so, can you explain how it does so?

Is there a difference in this regard if it's a single malt or a blended scotch?

Does the same stuff apply to other whiskeys?
 
If you have a nice whiskey or Scotch, A little water works.

Dont let people talk you into certain things. Try a straight method and a drop method and see what YOU like.

I personally like 1 small cube of ice in my 4 fingers. It just seems to brighten it up but thats just me. I use a nice drop in a two fingered pour. Drink it like you want. Who cares what people think?
 
If you have a nice whiskey or Scotch, A little water works.

Dont let people talk you into certain things. Try a straight method and a drop method and see what YOU like.

I personally like 1 small cube of ice in my 4 fingers. It just seems to brighten it up but thats just me. I use a nice drop in a two fingered pour. Drink it like you want. Who cares what people think?

Wait what?
 
Vodka is for people not smart/superior/supreme/ enough for gin.

Gin is the greatest drink known to man.

However, scotch is quite decent. Lothraig is like drinking a God damn cigar, though.

I'd actually like to hear more about the method of using water. What does it do to the taste? Cut some of the excessive smokiness in the heavily peaty scotches?

Gin... haha, good one.
 
If you have a nice whiskey or Scotch, A little water works.

Dont let people talk you into certain things. Try a straight method and a drop method and see what YOU like.

I personally like 1 small cube of ice in my 4 fingers. It just seems to brighten it up but thats just me. I use a nice drop in a two fingered pour. Drink it like you want. Who cares what people think?

It's not that I care what people think. I would like to understand the logic behind adding water as if it were some kind of catalyst.
 
Adding water to whisky dilutes the alochol and allows some flavours you wouldn't have tasted to come through. Basically it takes away the harshness of the alcohol so your pallette (sp?) can experience more flavour. Some whisky buffs say that if you dilute the alcohol, you lose the 'natural state' of the whisky and the harshness is actually all part of the flavour.

In reality, it's all personal preference.

e.g. I will add water to Aberlour 10 yr old, but not to a Lagavulin, just because I personally think it tastes better. That being said, I plan on visiting the Aberlour distillery in a few weeks, so i'll ask the tour guide what he thinks.
 
Adding water to whisky dilutes the alochol and allows some flavours you wouldn't have tasted to come through. Basically it takes away the harshness of the alcohol so your pallette (sp?) can experience more flavour. Some whisky buffs say that if you dilute the alcohol, you lose the 'natural state' of the whisky and the harshness is actually all part of the flavour.

In reality, it's all personal preference.

e.g. I will add water to Aberlour 10 yr old, but not to a Lagavulin, just because I personally think it tastes better. That being said, I plan on visiting the Aberlour distillery in a few weeks, so i'll ask the tour guide what he thinks.

But we're talking about literally drops of water right? I'd be shocked if 1% of humans could taste the difference in alcohol concentration between a normal sized drinks that differ by a couple drops of water. You're talking about a dilution from like 40% to 39%, probably less.

As for the change in flavor, I've seen many people say this so I'm not necessarily questioning it, but I have still yet to read an explanation of why it apparently happens. They add water to dilute scotch that isn't cask strength to the desired alcohol dilution anyway.

I read one explanation that said the adding of water results from the rise in temperature that results from the mixing of water with scotch, (which in reality would be an extremely small rise in temp), but if that were the case, you could just drink your scotch at a higher temp.. and really the heat of mixing that this source is talking about is tiny. You wouldn't even see a degree change. Additionally, the heat released would be proportional to the amount of water added so it doesn't make sense that a small amount of water would make such a significant difference.
 
Rule of thumb:

if it's a blended scotch, it's fine to add ice if you want

if it's a single malt, you're doing it a disservice to add ice.

Adding water basically displaces some of the fusel alcohols and oils that form the flavour. You'll notice it louches slightly (gets an oil on water appearance). This heightens the flavour, and cuts down on immediate alcohol burn which will numb your palate. If you're doing it, use cooled boiled water, it makes a huge difference over regular tap water. As for quantity, it's personal taste. I'd recommend not exceeding the measure of whisk(e)y in amount of water, preferably half.

Also, if it's over 45%abv, you'll want to add water.

But drink it what ever way you like the taste of. If you want to drink it topped up with decaf diet pepsi, go for it*
 
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Adding water to whisky dilutes the alochol and allows some flavours you wouldn't have tasted to come through. Basically it takes away the harshness of the alcohol so your pallette (sp?) can experience more flavour. Some whisky buffs say that if you dilute the alcohol, you lose the 'natural state' of the whisky and the harshness is actually all part of the flavour.

In reality, it's all personal preference.

e.g. I will add water to Aberlour 10 yr old, but not to a Lagavulin, just because I personally think it tastes better. That being said, I plan on visiting the Aberlour distillery in a few weeks, so i'll ask the tour guide what he thinks.

This post nails it.

Personally, I like my whiskey or scotch neat. No ice, no water.
 
I use whiskey to numb my pain & put depression in the corner for a Lil' bit so water is a no-no.
 
I take it neat.

Everything else I don't even care, I'm Finnish.
 
You hear so much about drinking booze straight and neat, and you always see people busting out decanters to make a drink in tv/movies but I don't know people in real life that actually do it. I see the majority of people posting in this thread claim to, but that makes sense based on the thread. I drink my whiskey on ice sometimes but usually only if I'm drinking a beer at the same time. When you guys are drinking it straight are you only drinking one to enjoy the flavor or are you trying to get messed up? The only reason I ask is that a lot of people assume if you drink booze straight you are an alcoholic.
 
Vodka is for people not smart/superior/supreme/ enough for gin.

Gin is the greatest drink known to man.

However, scotch is quite decent. Lothraig is like drinking a God damn cigar, though.

I'd actually like to hear more about the method of using water. What does it do to the taste? Cut some of the excessive smokiness in the heavily peaty scotches?

You spelled "tequila" wrong.
 
I like to drink scotch when I'm discussing the economy, politics and other such learned things.
 
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