Do you have the stones for drinking whiskey?

In case you may not know it…whiskey is popular. People like it. A lot of people like it. It’s even kind of hip and cool again…for the time being. As a very popular item it is subject to the inundation of gimmicks. I like gimmicks. I don’t personally buy into most of them but I find them amusing. I tend to have a cheeky sense of humor about things like that. Usually, I have my chuckle and then put them out of mind.

However, one thing that just keeps coming up like a bad penny are rocks. Whiskey on the rocks? Yes…literally. If you Google “whisky stones” you’ll get about 782,000 results. Throw in an “e” and it jumps to 989,000 (apparently us Yanks and the Irish think this is a somewhat better idea). What are they you ask? Little soapstone cubes that you can freeze and then throw in your whiskey. Not to sink the whiskey to the bottom of a lake but rather to keep it cold without watering it down. And it makes your drink look so appealing.

Mmmm…doesn’t that look good? I first saw these babies about a year or two ago. A friend of mine asked me about them. Just so you know, I’m kind of a whiskey guy. As such, most of my friends know me to be a whiskey guy and I’ve kind of become their go-to whiskey guy. (Except Matt, the SOB dares to have his own opinions about whiskey separate from mine. The nerve!) As their go-to, my friends send me all sorts of things whiskey related to opine on. When whiskey stones were first brought to my attention I found them kind of funny. I didn’t really take them too seriously but they keep coming up. Another friend of mine asked me about them last week because they were in a magazine that he reads.

I find the whiskey stone thing to be a little silly but some people think it’s a pretty good idea. I get what they are driving at. It’s the same kind of thing The Macallan has been talking about with their ice ball serve. But even that I find a little silly. Basically they are all saying that people want their whiskey cold instead of watered down. Why? The general answer I get when I ask people is that it’s a flavor thing. Really? You actually lose a lot more flavor characteristics chilling whiskey than you do adding a little water. Don’t believe me? Try it at home. Take your favor dram and pour three glasses. Drink one straight, drink one with no ice but chilled in the freezer, and drink the last with a splash or two of water.

If you like the cold because it mellows out flavor that you don’t like then you might want to get a different bottle of whiskey. If however, you just like your whiskey over ice then I’m all for it. I believe that you should drink it how you like. The question isn’t about that. It’s about paying $20 so you can throw rocks in your glass. I think that’s just silly but I guess that’s an easier sell than $20 bottles of special “whiskey water”.

Drink wisely my friends,


2 thoughts on “Do you have the stones for drinking whiskey?”

  1. There’s a video of Richard Paterson using stones from the beach on Jura to chill a glass of… Jura. Smooth stones from the place of a whisky’s origin makes a little more sense than angular bits of soapstone. I’m still not going to put rocks in my glass though.

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