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Water with whisk(e)y: yes or no?

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Water with whisk(e)y: yes or no?

Yes
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33%
No
80
32%
Maybe
88
35%
 
Total votes : 252

Water with whisk(e)y: yes or no?

Postby Deactivated Member » Mon Sep 29, 2003 11:07 am

Water with whisk(e)y: yes or no?
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Water with whisk(e)y: yes or no?

Postby Lawrence » Mon Sep 29, 2003 4:31 pm

Most of the time except some of the older (30 years +) heavily sherried whiskies at 50% or lower don't need it.
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Postby hpulley » Mon Sep 29, 2003 7:00 pm

Almost never. On rare nights, whiskies over 50% ABV need a little water to take the edge off them but normally even CS whiskies are best neat IMO.
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Postby Admiral » Thu Oct 09, 2003 5:56 am

As a rule of thumb:

Cask strength: Yes
40-46%: No

It is true that many whiskies open up and reveal much more on the nose when you add just a tiny drop of water.

However, the palate and the flavours are then diluted and (in my opinion) usually diminished or lost.

Always the taste the whisky neat first - once you've added water, you can't take it out again!!
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Water with whisk(e)y: yes or no?

Postby Gate » Thu Oct 09, 2003 10:57 am

I'm with Harry and Admiral on this: taste neat first, and then usually go on without adding any water!
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Postby begbiescotty » Thu Oct 09, 2003 10:44 pm

def. with cask strength...with Aberlour A'bundah (sp?) for example a few drops really opens it up. By the way, this Scotch is excellent, very highly recommended!

for your common "bar" scotches (glenlivet, glenfiddich, etc) I almost always get them with water or on the rocks. (not like you need to take in their "complexity")
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Postby G. J. David » Wed Oct 22, 2003 2:14 pm

For tasting and assimilating the various flavors, one has to go with the undiminished dram as is the conventional wisdom. It should be noted, however, that proceeding thus does tend to require temperance of a sort when dealing with what may be a larger array of whiskeys, at least if one is to remember the flavor without having to refer to the tasting form the next morning. At the risk of waxing heretical, I have to say that several drops of water frozen beforehand always appeal to me, even during tastings for making the bite a bit more smooth, softening the alcohol content with a little water as it melts and allowing the pallate a gentler introduction to a new flavor.

So I'm saying yes, a wee bit. :wink:
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Water with Whisky?

Postby Lawrence » Wed Oct 22, 2003 5:05 pm

:shock: Really? Are you have a laugh? A few drops of "frozen" water? That's a new one on me, good luck.
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Postby hpulley » Wed Oct 22, 2003 5:55 pm

I think he means ice cubes which I'd never put in my scotch but if that's how he enjoys it then more power to him.

Harry
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Postby whiskyjack7 » Wed Oct 22, 2003 10:57 pm

I always try a small dram without water first then add a drop of water on the first dram
,. when I as in Scotland there was never ice in the pubs for any drink.
why do the makers have water vessels to help sell the whisky? fresh pure water does open the whisky up,making a big chance in some
.you can always pour a new dram.
very careful with the water one drop per dram max.
Iam talking about single malts cask strength
like the CAOL ILA 1980 58.4%
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Postby whiskyjack7 » Wed Oct 22, 2003 11:12 pm

I always try a small dram without water first then add a drop of water on the first dram
,. when I as in Scotland there was never ice in the pubs for any drink.
why do the makers have water vessels to help sell the whisky? fresh pure water does open the whisky up,making a big chance in some
.you can always pour a new dram.
very careful with the water one drop per dram max.
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Postby mickblueeyes » Tue Nov 04, 2003 8:02 am

Any experienced taster, blender or distiller will tell you that to truly "taste" a whisky, get the full benefit of nuances and get the proper feel for a whisky, you need water. Having visited several bourbon distilleries and having talked candidly with several Scotch and Bourbon distillers, it has, on more than one occasion, been relayed to me that most "tasting" and "blending" at the distillery is done at about 35-38% abv.

Additionally, to objectively "rate" a whisky, both with and without water are essential. The whisky should first be nosed without water and then tasted several times without water. Once the predominant flavors and nuances have been concretely determined, a splash or two of water will open the nose and loosen the body to allow more fragrant and aromatic components to be evidenced. This allows for the determination of more subtle components often "hidden" beneath the alcohol of the nose or the "bite" of the palate/finish. Especially in cask strength whiskies.

Conversely, when enjoying whisky for whisky's sake, do whatever you like. If you like ice, go with ice. If you like water, go with water. If you like straight, go with straight. At that point, your enjoyment is all that matters.
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Postby Richard Quilly » Tue Nov 04, 2003 12:39 pm

Drink it any way you want it. Drink it with coke if that's what you prefer. Don't let anyone tell you what you prefer.
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Postby shane » Mon Nov 24, 2003 10:50 am

Whats all the fuss about? Dont dilute your Scotch whisky below 40%abv. Simple fact is, if you do, your not legally drinking Scotch whisky any longer. You don't want to turn your lovely Scotch into some other spirit now would you? CHEERS!
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water is good for you, ...and sometimes good for the whisky

Postby WedlocK » Tue Nov 25, 2003 8:38 pm

Hello everyone,
I am not such an experienced whiskey connaisseur like all of you, but someone thought me to drink Cask Strength whisky with some water, otherwise the good tast get's lost somewhere between the alcohol fumes.

But even a 'normal' whisky can taste quite different and sometimes even better when a little water is added, so for me: water can be added, no problem with that

Yours,
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Postby Jeroen Kloppenburg » Wed Nov 26, 2003 10:29 am

In the beginning I was very scared to add water. After a while I turned into that "one or two drops" people, scared to dilute it too far. This hardly made any difference ofcourse (at least not to me...).

These days I'm not afaraid to add quite a bit of water (let's call it a "splash") to my dram. Especially many speysiders really come to life after you take of the alcohol edge. The fruitiness of a Glenrothes or Linkwood or for example a Clynelish really comes up after you take that edge of.

There are however also drams I dont add water too. A cask strenght Ardbeg is wonderfull as it is. The extra *UnF* from the higher ABV works great on this dram. I'm pretty sure this is why the Ardbeg 10 is so much more powerfull too, those extra few %'s are really adding to the dram.

But also with a CS Speysider I would always first take a sip undiluted ofcourse, to make sure I'm not watering something down I shouldnt have...
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Postby Admiral » Mon Dec 01, 2003 3:43 am

Something that comes up often when discussing the addition of water here is the quality of water.

Sydney water, (i.e. what comes out of our taps) is considered quite drinkable and okay for mixing with malt, whereas the water from one or two of the other Australian cities (e.g. Adelaide) is very hard and tastes unpleasant.

It's therefore considered by many that only bottled pure spring water, or mineral water be used.

A colleague of mine swears that the finest bottled spring water best for whisky comes from Fiji.

Do any die-hards insist only on Scottish spring water?
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Postby Jeroen Kloppenburg » Mon Dec 01, 2003 9:01 am

Theres the additive chlorine as well when speaking of tap water.. Try filling a bottle 1/3rd up with tapwater, close the bottle, shake really well for a bit, then smell the odors coming out of the bottle... Theres really quite a bit more chlorine then many expect.

As for bottled water, I'm not a Highland Spring only fanate. It's on offer in most good liqorstores heer, so often its the choice for me. And often they give me a bottle along for free as well... Otherwise I would use any bottled water, as long as it isnt too hard and thus has too much taste on its own...
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RE: Water with whisk(e)y: yes or no?

Postby Brunetma » Mon Dec 22, 2003 3:57 pm

Adding a little bit of water (2-3 drops) help to opens it up. Even a lower alcohol % The flavor and smell coming out very easily after. Not every Whisky react the same but it is more often that this is happening.

Sometime more rough, raw or big heavy Caskstrength Whisky required to add a few more drops of water. It cut down the alcohol warmy feeling to appreciate more the flavor of the Whisky.
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Postby peatreek1 » Tue Dec 23, 2003 2:17 pm

If you adding only a few drops of water, any non-chlorinated bottled water will do regardless of hardness.

In my opinion, adding more than a few drops of water washes out the flavor and texture of whisky, which is why I don't understand the recommendation in some books that it should be diluted to 20% abv. Perhaps high dilutions is OK if all one is doing is smelling the whisky. As I like to drink it, I find adding too much water to whisky ruins it.
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Postby jmputz » Tue Dec 23, 2003 3:53 pm

I really appreciate a single malt with a (small) drop of water
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Postby triboubou » Tue Dec 30, 2003 6:16 pm

Hello,

I say NEVER ! 8)

They give to us whisky's at strenght cask, that they've made with love, and you are destroying such artistic work with water :!:


Recently I've tasted one Smws at 60.9 °, and that was delicious.




Ps : perhaps it's because I drink rhum at 50-55 ° :wink:


A french who love's whisky.
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Postby jmputz » Tue Dec 30, 2003 6:21 pm

I use to drink cask strength whisky as well.
Water is not meant to minimize the percentage of alcohol, but to "open" the fragances of a whisky.
You do not need to drawn your whisky in water.
Just one drop.
Have a try: drink your whisky first "as is", and then add a drop of water. You'll probably taste a great difference...
I didn't believe this neither...

Slainthe Mtath
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Postby Leonidych » Tue Dec 30, 2003 11:20 pm

Hmm, I was a get-lost-with-your-water-loser cask-strength addict until one day I let a couple of drops in my dram and was surprised that the malt (a) lost exceeding spirituosity, and (b) gained thicker body. And I went "wow". Maybe the cask strength should be 46-52?.. :roll:
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Postby Jeroen Kloppenburg » Wed Dec 31, 2003 10:34 am

It matters a whole lot to the CS malt itself weteher I put water in it or not.

Most Ardbeg's are awesome at CS, and with water will only loose a lot of their power. I currently have a Cadenhead Clynelish at CS wich just totally opens up when diluted down to around 45% or so. At CS it just doesnt release it full potential. Same with a lot of Speysiders. Have another Cadenhead, a Glenrothes, wich also doesnt show its full potential without a bit of water.

There's no set rules though. The current Cadenhead Ardbeg CS was a big dissapointment for me. At 58.6 you should be able to add some water to it, but it totally waters down with even the slightest ammount of water. I blame that more on a overused cask (my best guess) then on adding or not adding water however.
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Postby hpulley » Wed Dec 31, 2003 3:12 pm

I agree with Jeroen. Some open up with water, others just get watery (e.g. Sig. 18yo '84 Caol Ila). I generally try not to add water but if a whisky refuses to open up even if I warm it in my hand and leave it out for a while then a little water can change a bland dram into a very nice one. I still need to add some water to my HP18 OB as it doesn't seem that good to me neat.

Sometimes I surprise myself when I'm lazy and reusing the same glass I'll wash it out but not dry it completely, meaning some water is left in the glass and even with strong Islays this sometimes works quite well. I had Ardbeg TEN like this the other day and it was very good.

Harry
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Postby Admiral » Thu Jan 01, 2004 1:33 am

Harry's comment above is interesting and I too have experienced one or two drams that appear to have an extra dimension that I put down to water residue in the glass.

Again though, this depends entirely on the quality of the water which comes from your tap!

I was talking with a scotsman the other day who has been living in Sydney for over 30 years. He assured me that Sydney tap water was very similar in quality and taste to Glasgow water where he grew up!

Maybe I should add more tap water! :)
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my input

Postby silvers559 » Wed Feb 18, 2004 5:22 pm

great topic and here is how I handle it. I always drink mine straight unless like someone said above I am drinking aberlour a'bunadah. got a real shock to my system drinking that one straight. it took a few times to get it right because I would put some water in the aberlour, that was too weak so would have to ad more aberlour, too strong.... you get where I am going with this. that first few times I had to make sure I had a full stomach because I knew chances were that I would drink more of the aberlour since I keep messing up the best ratio. but if I am drinking anything less than 46 abv I prefer it straight but I always have a glass of ice water(tap) with me. I take a sip of ice water to clean the palate then I sip the whisky and enjoy. that way each time I take a sip I am "drinking it fresh" so to speak.
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Yes to water - but quality is all important!

Postby Old Bollard » Fri Feb 27, 2004 2:25 am

I used to enjoy my single malts neat, but after reading so many recommendations about adding water, I just had to try it a few years ago.

There's been so much valuable input already, so I'll be brief.

I typically add about a tablespoon of still water to a dram, a bit more if it's at cask strength. My experience is that this takes the alcohol "edge" thus letting me explore the tastes more fully. :D

However, be advised that since all whiskies are different they also react differently to the addition of water and not always favourably. :( Some whiskies and some types of water also don't mix well.


Consequently I too taste the whisky neat first, then add a little water and taste it again, if they don't mix well you'll know it in an instant.

Slainte

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Postby Shigga » Fri Feb 27, 2004 2:04 pm

...depends on the apv. a drop of water or two can open up the palate of a cask strength considerably imho. :)
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Postby Bodemmeester » Thu Mar 11, 2004 6:24 pm

Water with my whisky? It depends. A Master Class with Charles MacLean at the Whisky Fest in The Hague last year was interesting, as he was able to guid us through a few tasting experiences that were new to me.

On the other hand, the kick of a cask strength dram is what I look for sometimes as well.
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Whisky with water

Postby jerry_vcmg » Sat Mar 27, 2004 4:43 am

I prefer to drink the whisky without water, even the cask strength. That way it mixes with my own saliva and is consistent for me. Drinking coffee before drinking whisky also helps.
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Water with Whisky.

Postby Ian Fraser » Tue Apr 20, 2004 12:28 pm

IMO a little water with higher strength whiskies is almost a requirement, if you want to fully appreciate it.

I have a bottle of Millburn (G&M) that is 67% and it is very difficult to appreciate the whisky neat as the alcohol content os so high.
However with a little water it does soften it and makes it easier for me to try to identify the different flavours and characteristics.

The question of whether to add water or not is very much a personal preference.

The so called experts may advise against it but we "Normal" people do not have the luxury of their edicated palates to be able to pick out a dozen different flavours and smells from a single taste of the spirit.

What I think has more relevance is the number of times when travelling by air or when ordering a whisky in some bars( Especially USA) that I am immediately asked " With or without ice?)

I tend to reply that if I ordered a Cognac the question would never be raised.
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You can lead a horse...

Postby welshman » Tue Apr 20, 2004 1:44 pm

I put this one to my doctor here in Yokohama.
Like most members of the medical profession, he's seen people die from ten thousand diseases, so he's not adverse to knocking back a couple of drams or three.
We were in a raw horse-meat restaurant at the time, and I asked him what the score was on the detrimental effects of pouring strong spirits down your gullet. He picked up a slice of nag and put it in a little saucer, then he added a splash of his favourite Cask Strength Yoichi. The burgundy-red meat turned brown and effervesced ever so slightly. After ten minutes, it had yellowed and begun to fall apart into hardened chunks.
Next he repeated the experiment with a dram watered down to about 30%. Even after an hour, the meat had not changed in appearance.
Nowadays. If I can. I try my best to add a bit of H2O.
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Whisky with Water?

Postby Eightball » Tue May 18, 2004 11:00 pm

Hello all,
I would have to agree that trying a single malt neat should be the first sip or two. After you get a feel for the finish, I find that adding water the next time opens it up a little. I only use purified water.
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