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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
84
33%
No
80
32%
Maybe
88
35%
 
Total votes : 252

Postby GreyArea » Wed Nov 23, 2005 2:46 pm

I tend not to add water to my whisky, *except* to Laphroaig Cask Strength and the standard 'unfinished' Edradour Cask Strength. In the case of the former I find I need a drop or two just to round it off. In the case of the lattter I simply can't drink it - it's far too dry for my tastes and has (for me) an unpleasant 'hairspray'-like overtone to it. For all (or most) of the others I find that taking it 'untempered' works best for me.

Jim
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Postby MGillespie » Wed Nov 23, 2005 3:30 pm

Ana Julia:

Check out Park Avenue Liquors in Manhattan or Wine on the 9 on US 9 in Howell...they are likely to have a larger selection of minis and smaller bottles than the average store.

It's a shame you missed WhiskyFest...but if you're interested in bourbon at all, John Hansell of Malt Advocate will be doing a bourbon tasting session at d.b.a in New York on December 12th...

Mark
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Postby Badmonkey » Sat Nov 26, 2005 7:16 am

I have a general preference for tasting my drinks at full strength, but part of the experience is exploring the full range of flavours available. Adding a little water can release the bouquet and give your tastebuds an entirely new sensation. And as others have mentioned, taking on a whisky, let along a cask strength dram, full strength can overpower some people's palates and leave them wary of whisky for good. I say take it as you like it, experiment as you go along, and see where the flavours take you.

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Postby MacLover » Mon Nov 28, 2005 2:51 pm

Try straight first then add water if desired to find the right taste for you. Taste preference is very subjective so experimentation is a good thing.

The right answer is "It doesn't matter"! Drink it however you like it!
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Postby Deactivated Member » Mon Nov 28, 2005 8:10 pm

Each to their own.
I suspect that most starting out on the great adventure that is whisk(e)y, will add water perhaps to soften the impact.
As the palate develops, so does the curisosity about the dram and less water may be taken until it is added, not as a matter of course, but to fully explore the nose and taste.
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Postby Deactivated Member » Mon Nov 28, 2005 8:52 pm

I was thinking about this last night as I sampled a Scapa 14, which struck me as weak at 40%. For some, it's probably just right. I'm sure I would have found it plenty strong enough when I was starting out.

There's plenty of whisky out there, something for everybody, and even more water. Whatever floats your boat. (That would be a lot of whisky, wouldn't it?)
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Adding water

Postby ScotchBlog » Tue Nov 29, 2005 10:17 pm

WHENEVER I am tasting (not drinking - and there IS a difference)
I try undiluted, and work from there. Some require a drop or two to release aroma and flavor; some whiskies demand to be cut a little more. And the same whisky might take different amounts of water at different times, depending on the drinker.

Sometimes when drinking (not tasting - and there IS a difference ;)) I will drink undiluted. This is all based on the style, age, what I'm having with the Scotch, my familiartity with the expression and my mood.

General rule...start neat, taste, add a few drops, taste, add more water until you feel the whisky is "giving its all" Most novices will end up over-watering - and the whisky will "fall apart" - so be careful with the amount you add. The water should be ROOM Temperature. Adding cold water can be just as bad as adding ice. And bottled water is preferable, but Tap will do if it is devoid of funky tastes/smells.
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Postby MGillespie » Tue Nov 29, 2005 10:55 pm

Welcome aboard, Kevin!

Mark
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Postby ScotchBlog » Tue Nov 29, 2005 11:14 pm

Thanks for the invite, Mark :)
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water or not

Postby quibbly » Fri Dec 09, 2005 5:23 pm

I've been drinking single malts for about two years. Depending on which brand and age if I need any water, ice or straight.

Here is an example of with and without water.

AUCHENTOSHAN 21YR OLD MALT is a great scotch (lowland) but when I add a drop of spring water, the flavor and aroma opens up 10 fold. I now cut this every time (Um. long smoky finish..yum!

BALVENIE PORTWOOD *21YR i like straight. Even cut this is wonderfu.

MACALLAN CASK STRENTH Cut, Cut, Cut!!!
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Postby Deactivated Member » Fri Dec 09, 2005 5:33 pm

Welcome aboard, quibbly. Mr Picky likes your name.

Under what circumstances do you use ice?
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Postby quibbly » Fri Dec 09, 2005 8:42 pm

Thanks MrTattieHeid for the invite. Glad I found a place to discuss my favorite drink! Why is it as we age, we fine we enjoy better class spirits and cigars? Is it the maturity, increased income or we just start losing our since of smell <grin>

Oh, when do I use ice? At social events of course! When they server a cheap scotch I need ice and water!!!!

Quibbly
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Postby MGillespie » Fri Dec 09, 2005 9:03 pm

quibbly wrote:Thanks MrTattieHeid for the invite. Glad I found a place to discuss my favorite drink! Why is it as we age, we fine we enjoy better class spirits and cigars? Is it the maturity, increased income or we just start losing our since of smell <grin>

Quibbly


Has to be the increased income...when we're in our 20's, we have beer budgets at best...

Welcome, Quibbly...make yourself at home.

Mark
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Postby Frodo » Sat Dec 10, 2005 6:43 am

Welcome Quibbly!
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Postby Ed » Sat Dec 10, 2005 5:09 pm

Hi Mark,
It depends on where you live and what kind of beer you drink. Here in Japan there are plenty of really good whiskies that are cheaper than beer as far as alcohol delivery is concerned.
Ed
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Postby Ed » Sat Dec 10, 2005 5:18 pm

Hello Quibbly,
And if I may quibble...
MACALLAN CASK STRENTH Cut, Cut, Cut!!!

Cut Macallan cask strenth? How could you? Oh me, oh my...

Really, float your boat any way you like. But if you are pouring for me, leave the Macallan CS as it is.
Ed
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Postby Lawrence » Sat Dec 10, 2005 5:51 pm

Macallan Cask Strength? I used my open bottle to flavour my Christmas cakes, it does a fine job. :P
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Postby Ed » Sun Dec 11, 2005 7:27 am

That sounds like a great idea, Lawrence! I once dipped my finger in my glass of Macallan CS and then kind of painted a cigar with it. I let it dry out a bit and then had a very pleasant smoke on my balcony.
Ed
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Postby Jens » Sun Dec 11, 2005 8:22 pm

I usually did a bit more "evil" changes applied to my cigars during student time... :P

But, the thread is about water and whisky right.

I always drink water after having drinking whiksy. I keeps hydration levels higher, and the enjoyment the day after so much higher still. Should a dram be filled with heavy, high on alcohol peated liquid...then yes, water would not hurt. But I prefer to keep anything that is not the whisky itself far far away OUT of my dram.
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Water yes or no

Postby Danny » Sat Dec 17, 2005 3:28 pm

It depends, if I am tasting I nose and taste neat and then will add a few drops of room temp bottles water to pen the nose up.

I find to much water will flatten a lot of whiskys out and take away from the palate.

When I am drinking depends on the dram, but I never add ice.
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Postby Deactivated Member » Sat Jan 07, 2006 6:08 pm

Not usually with 40% ABVs. But yes with some CSs
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Postby sasse » Mon Jan 09, 2006 6:55 am

I use water if it gets over 45%
I never use that much as some say ( 40% of water)
Just a few drops will make it perfekt.
I drink the Cask streght whisky´s when alone or a good whisky freind.
My "normal" freinds dont get it :-D

My favorit Raw cask streght is the Blackadder Port Ellen Raw Cask from 1982

R/Sasse
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Postby cowboyweaver » Sun Jan 22, 2006 5:49 am

If it is 80 or 86 proof I put the bottle in the freezer, if its 90 to 100 proof I put it in the refrig, if its CS, I let it go!

When I drink it I use Evian, Mountain Valley or Fuji still water(the best we have in Texas, check the made or expiration date, on the bottle somewhere on the bottle) and icehouse ICE, as local water or my refrigirator is suspect. This is very important and if you pay big bucks for whisky outside of the area it is produced in you should take precautions to drink it in its best state.
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Postby Rankles » Thu Aug 10, 2006 9:20 pm

cowboyweaver wrote:If it is 80 or 86 proof I put the bottle in the freezer, if its 90 to 100 proof I put it in the refrig, if its CS, I let it go!

When I drink it I use Evian, Mountain Valley or Fuji still water(the best we have in Texas, check the made or expiration date, on the bottle somewhere on the bottle) and icehouse ICE, as local water or my refrigirator is suspect. This is very important and if you pay big bucks for whisky outside of the area it is produced in you should take precautions to drink it in its best state.


Seriously? Freezing and refrigerating scotch sounds like sacrilege... although I'm still in two minds about this whole water thing being new to single malts, even more so by the even balance of this poll.

I'll stick to neat for the standard strengths, water for the casks.
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Postby Deactivated Member » Fri Aug 11, 2006 6:42 pm

cowboyweaver wrote:If it is 80 or 86 proof I put the bottle in the freezer, if its 90 to 100 proof I put it in the refrig...if you pay big bucks for whisky outside of the area it is produced in you should take precautions to drink it in its best state.


It goes without saying that the best state is Texas... :wink: but most of us would think you've contradicted yourself there, pardner! But whatever floats your boat is okay with me.
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Postby pouranother » Fri Aug 11, 2006 9:07 pm

I usually add a drop to my whisky, I think it "opens" it up a little more in the nose, and increases the amount of time I can keep it on my tongue before the alcohol takes over. I add very little so, I'm not really sure how much time I'm buying.

I must confess, a SMALL ice cube in a Dalwhinnie 15 actually increases my enjoyment and seems to do more to "open" it up than room temperature water.
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Postby Whiskana » Fri Aug 11, 2006 10:06 pm

pouranother wrote:I usually add a drop to my whisky, I think it "opens" it up a little more in the nose, and increases the amount of time I can keep it on my tongue before the alcohol takes over. I add very little so, I'm not really sure how much time I'm buying.


I concur.

But usually only to over 50% vol. whiskies and to the "sweeter ones" (Highland). I drink my ardbegs and such straight up. Just seems to be the best to my mouth. :roll:
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Postby Drrich1965 » Tue Aug 15, 2006 9:46 pm

I also only use water, a touch, if we are over 50%. On suggestion of an article by Jim Murry, I started to hold my class tight in my hands for a few minuntes to let the heat "open up" the malt. This seems to actaully work.
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Postby Mr Fjeld » Wed Aug 16, 2006 9:50 am

That's interesting IWC! I don't handwarm the whisky myself because the livingroom temperature warms up the whisky to 20 - 25 celcius in a couple of minutes. When I have tried handwarming the whisky I find it affects the whisky negatively. I think it boosts some aspects of the taste while overpowering others. Also, like when wine is served too warm I find the increased feeling of experiencing alcohol changing the "balance" of the whisky in a way I don't like. It can be different with whisky than it is with Cognac but it is generally not considered to enhance the experience to use those metal constructions where you can place the cognac glasses over a flame to heat it. As I said, it can be different with whisky of course and then there's the inevitable fact that one can enjoy ones whisky in any way one prefers; with ice, flame or whatever it may be.

Edit/added: Oh, sorry - I didn't realise it was a "water thread" . I only use water if I feel the whisky is too strong to drink comfortably. The blend the whisky in the mouth with saliva works most of the time - and is perfectly neutral in taste :wink:

Christian
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Postby irishwhiskeychaser » Wed Aug 16, 2006 10:52 am

I find that hand warming is good also but sometimes on lighter whiskies this method can actually ruin it for me... so I don't leave in the glass long enough :wink:
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Postby toshie » Wed Aug 16, 2006 4:27 pm

At glasgow's whisky club we encourage people to drink whisk(e)y the way they want to. Straight, with water, with ice, with a lump of lime and ginger beer (although personally I'd frown a little at 30YO Brora and GB :shock: ) and, I confess, I've enjoyed 25YO Highland Park with a generous spoonful of ice cream.
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Postby irishwhiskeychaser » Thu Aug 17, 2006 11:22 am

toshie wrote:....... and, I confess, I've enjoyed 25YO Highland Park with a generous spoonful of ice cream.



You'll have to expand on that :shock:

What was it like and was there any particular reason you tried this :idea:
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Postby toshie » Thu Aug 17, 2006 12:46 pm

IWC: it was a tasting hosted by Gerry Tosh of Highland Park and it was a bit of fun. Take a tub of Ben and Jerry or Haagen Dazs (sp?) or Mackie's premium ice cream. Take a generous spoonful and just as it's slipping down your throat, chase it with a healthy mouthful of HP25 (Other premium drams are almost as good) The ice cream coats the throat and dulls the burning sensation of the whisky. The after effect is simply sensational. The warmth of the whisky, still slightly cooled by the ice cream, then spreads through your body, wraps its arms around you and whispers" I love you."
It's a delivery system invented by the Gods :D
Last edited by toshie on Thu Aug 17, 2006 5:20 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby irishwhiskeychaser » Thu Aug 17, 2006 1:17 pm

toshie wrote:IWC: it was a tasting hosted by Gerry Tosh of Highland Park and it was a bit of fun. Take a tub of Ben and Jerry or Haagen Dazs (sp?) or Mackie's premium ice cream. Take a generous spoonful and just as it's slipping down your throat, chase it with a healthy mouthful of HP25 (Other premium drams are almost as good) The ice cream coats the throat and dulls the burning sensation of the whisky. The after effect is simply senstational. The warmth of the whisky, still slightly cooled by the ice cream, then spreads through your body, wraps its arms around you and whispers" I love you."
It's a delivery system invented by the Gods :D



Sounds excellent and totally self indulgent ... I must give it a go :D
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Postby Deactivated Member » Thu Aug 24, 2006 1:09 pm

I'm a recent convert to adding a little water to whisky (Ian Millar at Glenfiddich put me on to it). Quite a few whiskies that disappointed transform into sublime experiences (especially the Provenance Lochnagar - and a few drops of water even made a Cadenhead's Allt a'Bhainne palatable!). I have found almost every whisky to benefit in terms of opening up new aromas and flavours - and this is true whether I have started with a cask strength or a 40% whisky.

I wish I hadn't been so sniffy about water in the past - it makes me wonder what I must have missed.
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