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How much water?????

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How much water?????

Postby scotch rookie » Sun Jan 23, 2005 2:26 am

:oops: I am relatively new to scotch, and my favorite discovery thus far has been the Macallan Cask Strength. My question is: What is the proper ratio of diluting scotch with water? Thanks!
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Re: How much water?????

Postby williammackinnon » Sun Jan 23, 2005 2:57 am

scotch rookie wrote::oops: I am relatively new to scotch, and my favorite discovery thus far has been the Macallan Cask Strength. My question is: What is the proper ratio of diluting scotch with water? Thanks!


Welcome to the forum! We all love whisky here, & don't be intimidated because a lot of us are rookies too!

In answer to your question, please refer to one of my previous threads:

http://www.whiskymag.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=1921

Personally I never add water to any whisky, but it depends what you want from it. If you check all the replies to my posting above you'll see some good responses which should answer your question.

Slainte!
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Postby scotch rookie » Sun Jan 23, 2005 3:05 am

Thank you for your input. I have always taken my scotch neat, occasionally with a twist of lemon or orange. But I have been reading many posts that say that water releases the scotch in several ways. I always thought the true taste of the scotch was obtained by taking it straight. I'll have to experiment...I've seen recommedations that say to add only 3 or 4 drops to as much as a 50:50 dilution, the latter seems like a waste!
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Postby islayjunkie » Sun Jan 23, 2005 5:17 am

I add water to cask strength in order to penetrate the alcohol percentage in the begining until I'm able to adapt and actually taste the whisky.

There are some exceptions. I just cracked open a Macallan Cask Strength... it doesn't need water. I haven't had a Macallan since 1995. This is great stuff... and cheap :D

I am considering adding water to more bottles for educational purposes to see what happens. For the most part I agree adding water is a waste however there are exceptions when a few drops or more change the character of the whisky.

Cutting whisky with 50% water is a waste unless you're attempting to introduce someone new to whisky. I personally would have prefered more water myself in the begining.

This post at maltmaniacs.com peaked my interest.

http://maltmaniacs.com/l100-109.html#102

scroll down to Saint Magdalene 19yo...

Note: St. Magdalene may be the best under valued dead distillery to date. I placed an order for 3 bottles and was told my source is reordering. I'll post my tasting notes when and if I can grab a bottle ;)
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Postby Admiral » Sun Jan 23, 2005 1:39 pm

Ultimately, the answer to your question is to add as much water as you feel you need to in order to best enjoy the dram.

But I think your original reasoning is fantastic....take it neat, and enjoy the true taste of the distillers craft, in the way the bottler intended you to taste it. :)

It's true that adding a few drops, (literally, just tiny drops) can release a bit more of the aroma. But once you add water, you cannot take it back out again, and the raw, unadulterated character of the whisky is lost.

Cheers,
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Postby Crispy Critter » Sun Jan 23, 2005 11:37 pm

I generally add an unscientific "splash" to cask strength whiskies, using water from a reverse osmosis filter. Unless you can get water from the distillery's own source, it's probably best to use purified water.

I like the "clouding" effect I see with non-chill-filtered whiskies - it's the hallmark of a good dram. :wink:
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Postby JimHall » Mon Jan 24, 2005 2:13 am

You will find these forums a great place to learn.
take a look at the nosing course which is linked from the home page.... very good reading and it also refers to adding water.... and more to the point explains why some whisky requires more than others.
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Postby Deactivated Member » Mon Jan 24, 2005 6:36 am

islayjunkie, the Macallan CS is one of the very few drams that I feel demands a bit of water, as the flavors are so dense. Just goes to show, everybody has his own idea. I experimented a lot with water when I started on malts, trying to get the strength down to something I could deal with at the time without losing the alcoholic edge entirely. Now I very rarely use water, except that I often rinse the glass before pouring--the few drops remaining seem to me to have the desired effect of breaking surface tension without any serious dilution. Sometimes I use hot water to warm the glass a bit. I was astonished to see the literature enclosed in Rare Malts bottlings suggesting 2-to-1 water. Anyway, the point obviously is that it's a matter of personal taste, and there's no wrong answer. ...But a twist :shock: , scotch rookie? You're trying my tolerance here! Hope you save that for the blends.
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Re: How much water?????

Postby hiccup! » Thu Jul 26, 2012 10:14 am

dash it ,another newbie (me) , someone made a statement ,in effect ,that the distillers bottle the whiskey as they meant it to be tasted , not true by a long way , the distillers themselve will often use water when tasting,and more importantly they reccomend water if asked (in most cases) , any taster will tell you ,the alchohol content ,particularly above 47% and onward to cask strength has an anaesthetizing effect on our taste senses .
that said , blends are often low enough to be enjoyed ether way and indeed many whiskeys have a good and enjoyable (neat) experience .
Yes ,its down to preference ,its also "trial and error" when it comes to adding water , i will give an example ,a whiskey that may indeed taste great neat ,but just a few drops (literally) dont stir ,then cover for about 10-15 minutes can indeed bring out wonderous flavours we may have never picked out before ,regardless how many times we have the same whiskey.
one of my favourite tipples is Abunadh (aberlour) a cask strength whiskey, 59-61% on average ,yes you can drink it neat ,and get an immediate "kick" but its not as enjoyable as adding a couple of desertspoons of water and a short wait , the results can be staggering ,there are so many flavour sensations to be unlocked , just the right amount of water and it can be superb , but beware ,over do the water and the whiskey will become flat and lifeless very quickly .
I would suggest ,a teaspoon of water for lower % whiskeys ,and 2 or more with higher % versions . lower % and blends are a choice (water or no) its down to preference ,but experament a bit and you will reap rewards ,some whiskeys dont "come alive" until a little water is introduced.
remember ,start with just a few drops ,(never stir) leave to stand (10mins+) and never use tap water .
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Re: How much water?????

Postby The Third Dram » Mon Jul 30, 2012 7:25 pm

hiccup! wrote:...it's down to preference...

Truer words were never spoken.

1. Different whiskies will react quite distinctively to the addition of water.
2. The 'mood of the moment' will often dictate whether or not one adds water (and how much if so).
3. One's palate will develop over time, thereby altering one's strategies when it comes to adding water.

All you need to remember is the 'drop at a time' tact. How many (if any) drops you add is up to you.
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Re: How much water?????

Postby fwrightson » Tue Jul 31, 2012 2:52 am

Watching the Malt Project videos, I noticed that all of the distillery representatives (Master Distiller, Distillery Manager, Ambassador, etc) cut the dram with water. The rational was that if the alcoholic strength is too much, it burns our olfactory senors and this temporarily deadens our ability to smell the aromas in the spirit. The water brings the strength down to a level at which we can enjoy the aromas before we drink it. Each had a slightly different approach to adding the water. One recommended just a few drops. Another said as much as the individual required. One was careful to add the water carefully with the dram glass tilted to allow the water to "slide" into the spirit.

I think the question is are you nosing/tasting to detect the differences between different whiskies or just drinking one that you already like?
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Re: How much water?????

Postby whiskgeek » Thu Aug 02, 2012 5:50 am

Note that master blenders and master distillers drink quite a bit of whisky as part of their jobs. They can't afford to have their taste and smell deadened, so they use lots of water. Personally, with the relatively small amount of whisky I drink, I can't afford to water it down.

Also, notice this thread started back in 2005 with a question about adding water to Macallan Cask strength. If you do that, aren't you left with the equivalent to their 12-year?
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Re: How much water?????

Postby Ganga » Fri Aug 10, 2012 1:53 am

whiskgeek wrote:Note that master blenders and master distillers drink quite a bit of whisky as part of their jobs. They can't afford to have their taste and smell deadened, so they use lots of water. Personally, with the relatively small amount of whisky I drink, I can't afford to water it down.

Also, notice this thread started back in 2005 with a question about adding water to Macallan Cask strength. If you do that, aren't you left with the equivalent to their 12-year?

Macallan Cask Strength is upwards of 59% and is no age statement. I've had several bottles and even watering it way down, it was different than the Macallan 12 from that same time period.
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Re: How much water?????

Postby Ganga » Fri Aug 10, 2012 3:37 am

I would add a couple of thoughts.

I've had whiskies that completely collapsed with any addition of water. I've had whiskies that could take as much water as you cared for. Others just seem to be different when water is added. My suggestion is to take a very small pour to start out and see what the water does.
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Re: How much water?????

Postby Rodstar » Mon Nov 12, 2012 11:29 am

Hi there, in the short time that I have enjoying whisky I have found a great range of responses to adding water, it has been very much a trial and error thing.

In general, I have found the 40% ABV single malts do not really benefit from water - they almost immediately become very weak and bland. By contrast, higher ABV varieties are often greatly assisted by some water. Moderation is the key. I have found it very useful to nose and taste without water, then add a bit, and try again. More often than not I find new elements that I would never have found at full strength. I found this particularly when sampling some of the Ardbeg single malts- a bit of water helped me to get beyond the initial punch to tease out some of the delicate flavours hidden below the surface.
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Re: How much water?????

Postby bredman » Sat May 04, 2013 1:48 am

So what's the other 10%? Fizzy pop?

:P
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Re: How much water?????

Postby whiskgeek » Sun May 05, 2013 5:39 am

Ice? 8)
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Re: How much water?????

Postby richard » Sun May 05, 2013 2:30 pm

probably an umbrella to keep the ice cool 8)
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