Malhavoc wrote:If ice dilutes and dulls the delicate flavours of whisky, why do some people order their drinks with ice?
The expression Scotch on the rocks
is inextricably intertwined with the contemporary history of whisky drinking, and principally relates to the very widespread consumption of blended Scotch by, for lack of a better phrase, the public at large
. As such, drinking Scotch over ice offers a far broader range of drinkers an 'easy' way in which to enjoy the spirit without having to cope with any underlying strength or intensity issues. Of course, in warmer climates, the consumption of alcoholic beverages over ice can help to bring the cooling/refreshing
factor into play as well (as Willie has pointed out).
Let's not forget that the phenomenal rise in popularity of single malt Scotch is a relatively recent phenomenon, and that the associated preference for imbibing this
type of spirit with little or no water (and almost always with no ice) is directly tied to the fact that those who choose to drink malt whisky are, practically without exception, looking to experience all of the flavour and intensity such a drink has to offer.
Pouring malt (or any other quality) whisky over ice certainly does alter the flavour profile of the drink. Apart from tending to cloud the overall complexity and intensity of the spirit, I find that the cooling effect of ice (or chilling any whisky, for that matter) seems to increase the apparent fruitiness of the spirit at the expense of other nuances... Not necessarily a 'bad' thing, mind you, but probably not what most of us are seeking to achieve when we pour ourselves a good malt.