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scotch rookie wrote::oops: I am relatively new to scotch, and my favorite discovery thus far has been the Macallan Cask Strength. My question is: What is the proper ratio of diluting scotch with water? Thanks!
Welcome to the forum! We all love whisky here, & don't be intimidated because a lot of us are rookies too!
In answer to your question, please refer to one of my previous threads:
Personally I never add water to any whisky, but it depends what you want from it. If you check all the replies to my posting above you'll see some good responses which should answer your question.
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There are some exceptions. I just cracked open a Macallan Cask Strength... it doesn't need water. I haven't had a Macallan since 1995. This is great stuff... and cheap
I am considering adding water to more bottles for educational purposes to see what happens. For the most part I agree adding water is a waste however there are exceptions when a few drops or more change the character of the whisky.
Cutting whisky with 50% water is a waste unless you're attempting to introduce someone new to whisky. I personally would have prefered more water myself in the begining.
This post at maltmaniacs.com peaked my interest.
scroll down to Saint Magdalene 19yo...
Note: St. Magdalene may be the best under valued dead distillery to date. I placed an order for 3 bottles and was told my source is reordering. I'll post my tasting notes when and if I can grab a bottle
But I think your original reasoning is fantastic....take it neat, and enjoy the true taste of the distillers craft, in the way the bottler intended you to taste it.
It's true that adding a few drops, (literally, just tiny drops) can release a bit more of the aroma. But once you add water, you cannot take it back out again, and the raw, unadulterated character of the whisky is lost.
I like the "clouding" effect I see with non-chill-filtered whiskies - it's the hallmark of a good dram.
that said , blends are often low enough to be enjoyed ether way and indeed many whiskeys have a good and enjoyable (neat) experience .
Yes ,its down to preference ,its also "trial and error" when it comes to adding water , i will give an example ,a whiskey that may indeed taste great neat ,but just a few drops (literally) dont stir ,then cover for about 10-15 minutes can indeed bring out wonderous flavours we may have never picked out before ,regardless how many times we have the same whiskey.
one of my favourite tipples is Abunadh (aberlour) a cask strength whiskey, 59-61% on average ,yes you can drink it neat ,and get an immediate "kick" but its not as enjoyable as adding a couple of desertspoons of water and a short wait , the results can be staggering ,there are so many flavour sensations to be unlocked , just the right amount of water and it can be superb , but beware ,over do the water and the whiskey will become flat and lifeless very quickly .
I would suggest ,a teaspoon of water for lower % whiskeys ,and 2 or more with higher % versions . lower % and blends are a choice (water or no) its down to preference ,but experament a bit and you will reap rewards ,some whiskeys dont "come alive" until a little water is introduced.
remember ,start with just a few drops ,(never stir) leave to stand (10mins+) and never use tap water .
hiccup! wrote:...it's down to preference...
Truer words were never spoken.
1. Different whiskies will react quite distinctively to the addition of water.
2. The 'mood of the moment' will often dictate whether or not one adds water (and how much if so).
3. One's palate will develop over time, thereby altering one's strategies when it comes to adding water.
All you need to remember is the 'drop at a time' tact. How many (if any) drops you add is up to you.
I think the question is are you nosing/tasting to detect the differences between different whiskies or just drinking one that you already like?
Also, notice this thread started back in 2005 with a question about adding water to Macallan Cask strength. If you do that, aren't you left with the equivalent to their 12-year?
In general, I have found the 40% ABV single malts do not really benefit from water - they almost immediately become very weak and bland. By contrast, higher ABV varieties are often greatly assisted by some water. Moderation is the key. I have found it very useful to nose and taste without water, then add a bit, and try again. More often than not I find new elements that I would never have found at full strength. I found this particularly when sampling some of the Ardbeg single malts- a bit of water helped me to get beyond the initial punch to tease out some of the delicate flavours hidden below the surface.
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