Originally Posted by kwilkinson
I always feel like with whiskey, bourbon, or scotch, just a little bit of ice enhances the flavor. My parents were at a Jameson's whiskey tasting a few months back and they said that the Jameson rep suggested having a drink of straight whiskey, then putting a single droplet of water in the glass and then having a taste, and then placing an entire ice cube in the drink and having a taste. My father reported back to me that neither with the single droplet nor with the entire ice cube did the drink taste watered down, but that the water brought out intense flavors that you couldn't taste when drinking it neat.
Originally Posted by Wick
Just for the record, I was just ribbing Huntsman. Everyone has different tastes. I agree with the splash. I too have splashed my scotches with a little water...emphasis on little. I suppose that I perceive "rocks" as meaning several ice cubes.
No worries, wick. 90% of the time, I take my whiskies with a splash (no more than 10% by volume, but they're all different) of distilled water. I do the one cube thing sometimes, and very occasionally, in the summer I like some serious rocks, and yeah, it was three or four. I don't drink much scotch in the summer. In truth, I'm a little confused by the watering down business. There are two sides that I see -- 1) much above 80pf there's so much alcohol that the 'burn' overrides some subtleties, hence the splash of water to 'open it up,' as whisky-drinkers say. But then there is 2) which is the degree to which some aromatic/flavor compounds are only alcohol-soluble and therefore only available to the taste when in solution. Case in point -- Pernod. The common method is with water, and as you drop the proof, alcohol-soluble components come out of the now-dilute solution and turn it into this messy colloidal suspension. I don't like the taste. Some of the new subtle flavors are off-putting to me. I prefer it straight, as the anise is far more direct and cleaner. In this case it would seem that because of the higher proof, only the strongest of flavors are coming through and the quieter ones I dislike are muted. But what about cask-strength scotch? Ought you dilute to get the subtleties that the high alcohol masks, or should you take it neat because of flavors you can only taste at that proof? Probably will just come down to what you like for that particular whisky, because the chemical profile varies so much. I really don't have enough at high proof to experiment. ~ Huntsman