Neat, a splash of water, or on the rocks?

How do you prefer your whisky, do you like it neat, with a splash of water, or on the rocks? For years there has been the debate of what is the right way to drink it. Believe it or not I still have this argument with other whisky drinkers.  Whatever your preference is, there is no rulebook that says you have to drink it one way or the other. 

I am a neat whisky drinker, for non-whisky drinkers that means I drink it without diluting (no ice or water) the whisky. The first time I drank whisky I drank it on the rocks, then with a splash of water before I started to enjoy it neat. I am what people would call a purist and that to me is a matter of personal preference.

Purist will argue that this is the correct way to drink whisky. After many years of whisky tasting and drinking I have come to believe that with a neat dram you can truly taste and appreciate the whisky in its pure form. That is not to say that you have to drink it this way. Whisky is to be enjoyed and all drinkers should enjoy it whichever way they prefer.

A Splash of Water
Every whisky drinker is different. A splash of water helps cut down on the alcohol content. This is especially true if you are drinking a cask strength whisky which runs about 60% alcohol proof as opposed to the non-cask strength which are roughly around 40% or so alcohol proof. 

A splash of water is also recommended by some whisky brands. An example of this is a Laphroaig 10, which recommends you drink this range with water. It’s supposed to bring out the aromas and the flavor in this whisky. I have tasted a Laphroaig 10 neat and on the rocks. I can guarantee you that there was a difference in taste. 

On the Rocks
A whisky on the rocks does tend to bring out the tastes in certain brands, my one problem with ice is that it tends to melt fast and if you add too much of it, it takes away from the enjoyment and flavor of the whisky. It isn’t wrong to drink whisky this way but if you put too much ice you will water it down.

A solution for too much watering down came with the creation of a whisky ball. A whisky ball is a perfectly round ice ball that cools the whisky but is also very slow to melt, letting you enjoy the whisky before it ever waters down.

At the end of the day a whisky drinker should drink their whisky as best they see fit and drink it in a way they get the most enjoyment from. Now that we got that out of the way, join me on Wednesday as I taste and write about a neat glass of the Irish whiskey Green Spot!



2 Comments Add yours

  1. Whiskey on the rocks!! Well, this guy prefers the ice ball version. Its the best of everything, keeps the whiskey cool, just enough water to bring out the flavor while maintaining near neat status..However, I also have to hear how tough the Whiskey Wench is for drinking it neat while I don't! 😉

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