Within the whisky world, there is an endless debate about if one should chill their whisky or not. The answer can be quite simple: you chill it if you like it and the way you like it! However, what brings us to write this article is not if you should do it or not, it is entirely up to you, but how to chill whisky per se.
There are people who claim that ice or water ruins whisky. There are people who like their drams chilled with a big ice cube and other people who use whisky stones to get it in a nice temperature.
In this article, we’ll go through them all and evaluate pros and cons about each one of these different ways to chill a fired-up dram.
Table of Contents – Sip this article!
- Should Whisky Be Chilled?
- How to Chill Whisky – 3 Ways to do it
Before entering the “How to Chill Whisky” subject, it is important to clarify if whisky should be chilled or not. In the end of the day, it is your choice that matters, of course, but it is also important to analyse the way cold may or may not interfere with whisky’s aromas and flavours.
Although it has been proven that water can, in fact, enhance the whisky’s flavour, too much ice might numb your drink – as well as dilute it. By numb, we mean that the flavour of that whisky will become homogenous and loose some of the undertones that it is supposed to have.
If you’re feeling like adding anything to have a different experience, know that you can add a splash of water, so the alcohol bite gets smoother. If you do not want to add anything to your whisky and keep it room temperature (as it is the ideal temperature), you should keep it stored in a cool place, away from the sunlight.
Check out our article on the Best Ways To Store Whisky!
The greatest problem with chilling whisky with ice is that it will melt and end up diluting your dram. And, if a splash of water may be a great way to unlock some its flavours, too much water will ruin your drink.
So, how to chill whisky without diluting it? We have a few options for you: whisky stones, stainless-steel ice cubes, a large ice cube or sphere or a whisky wedge.
Either the whisky stones or the stainless-steel ice cubes will add no water to your whisky. You just need to put them in the fridge, wait for it to get really cold and then add them to your glass.
If you don’t mind a splash of water on your dram while chilling it, we advise you to get a large ice cube or sphere or a whisky wedge.
As we mentioned on the previous paragraphs of “How to Chill Whisky”, these options are great for those who don’t want to dilute their dram.
So, what is the purpose of whisky stones or the stainless-steel ice cubes?
Basically, is to provide a cold element to your whisky without adding water to it. Most whisky stones are made of marble or other non-porous kind of stone and, as it happens with the stainless-steel cubes, you just need to put them on the fridge for 4 hours before adding them to your glass.
The difference between these options is that the stainless-steel ice cubes are only covers for regular ice cubes. You fill them with water and wait for them to get frozen. And, because the steel helps conducting the cold, your drink will be colder faster than with the stones.
Besides all this, if you still want to add water to your whisky, you’ll be much more in control of how many drops you dropped.
In terms of disadvantages of using them, the whisky stones are harder to clean than the steel cubes. Another disadvantage is that you need to be a little bit careful since they can hit your teeth.
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If you want controversy in a sentence, “Whisky with Ice” is what you’re looking for. Some experts say it’s a no go, others point out that a little water might bring hidden aromas as flavours to life. We have said it before and we say it again: it’s your whisky, only you know best how you want to drink it.
However, there are different options to have whisky with ice without getting your drink diluted. Instead of having the regular ice cubes, you can choose to have a dram with a large whisky sphere or cube or make a whisky wedge.
But, why are large ice cubes better for whisky?
The idea behind this is that, because the surface of the ice that contacts with whisky is smaller, it will take longer to melt. While melting, it is impossible not to have a little bit of water on your dram.
And, what’s a whisky wegde?
Developed by Corkcicle, a whisky wedge is an ice mold that fits your whisky glass and allows water to freeze in a diagonal placement. With this clever placement, the surface that enters in contact with whisky is even less than spheres or larger ice cubes and, because it’s a big chunk of ice, it takes a lot longer to melt.
Whisky is at their best temperature at 45 degrees Fahrenheit, which means that a fridge may be a good option if you want to chill it just a bit before having a glass. In this case, yes, it is ok to put whisky in the fridge. Otherwise, it is better to store it away from the light.
However, if you’re thinking about leaving the bottle there, we strongly advise you not to do it. Firstly, because if you leave the bottle in the fridge, some flavour nuances will be lost and then you’ll have to wait until the whisky returns to room temperature.
Lastly, because there is no need to do it. Whisky will last at least 5 years on your shelf once the bottle was opened and forever if the bottle remains intact. This happens because this spirit has almost no sugar and oxidation and the development of bacteria cannot happen in these conditions.
If you are thinking about collecting whisky, know that refrigerate it will damage the label and, therefore, the bottle will lose its value on the market.