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Is your splash of water freezing out your whisky taste buds?

Is your splash of water freezing out your whisky taste buds?

Most whisky connoisseurs will maintain that water is a necessary part of whisky. It helps to release the flavours and aromas of the drink, and would generally recommend that you add a splash (or two) to your dram.

Whilst it may seem insignificant to worry about the water you add, this blog post will explain how to add the perfect splash of water to get the most out of your whisky. 

Should you be adding water to whisky in the first place? And if so, how much?

Adding a splash of water to whisky is a personal preference. Some people like the added dilution, while others find it takes away from the flavour of the drink.

If you’re new to whisky, we recommend trying it both ways to see what you prefer. A good rule of thumb is to start with a small amount of water and add more if needed. You can always add more water, but you can’t take it away once it’s been added! A good starting point is to add a few drops of water, or about a teaspoon. In fact, a really clever dilution method used by some people is to use dropper bottles to add a few drops at a time until they reach their desired taste.

When it comes to whisky, there are no right or wrong answers. It’s all about what you like and what you don’t. So, experiment and find what works best for you. 

However, the issue isn’t with the quantity of water, it’s with the temperature!

Cold whisky is worse whisky

The temperature of our drink actually has a huge impact on the way we perceive its taste. When it comes to whisky, colder is not better. In fact, most experts will tell you that ice can ruin the flavour of good whisky.

Our taste buds work best at around 59 to 95°F (15 to 35°C). At this temperature range, we can taste all the subtle, delicate flavours that make whisky so great. When it’s too cold, our tastebuds are numbed, and we are more likely to only taste the acidity of the alcohol.

This is because our tastebuds are more sensitive to certain chemicals at different temperatures. For example, we can taste bitterness better when it’s cold, but sweetness is more pronounced when things are warmer.

However, if you are a drinker who resolutely prefers their dram on the chilled side, try using large, spherical ice cubes which dissolve slowly, or throw in some whisky stones so you don’t feel pressured to down your dram before it’s too diluted to savour the complex flavours! 

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