Whisky and Water

All your whisky related questions answered here.
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Whisky and Water

Postby Paddy » Mon Nov 04, 2002 4:07 pm

As most of you know some malt lovers add a bit of water to their malt to release aromas,flavours....But how much???
For the sake of argument lets say 50ml of single malt,some would add a few drops others a splash.
How much is a few drops,how much is a splash?
(in ml please)and how much do you use?

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Postby MacAndersson » Mon Nov 04, 2002 4:13 pm

That is a matter of personal taste but I use up to ¼ of water depending on the whisky. Some don’t need any water and some need quite a lot to “bloom”.

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Postby Chris Brousseau » Mon Nov 04, 2002 8:14 pm


Adding water is a personal preference. I rarely add water, except to cask strenght whisky. However, my advice is to start with a few mls and continue to add until you think it is right - a lot of people go as high as halfing the alcohol, but if you go to far and "drown" it, then there is no coming back - unless you add more whisky, then more water, then more whisky, etc

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Postby hpulley » Mon Nov 04, 2002 9:31 pm

I've stopped adding water after ruining too many drams by going too far. Now I only drink them neat, cask strength included. If a scotch isn't good to drink neat, I don't buy it. I find I can get a decent 'dilution' effect by varying the amount I put in my mouth, using my saliva to dilute instead of external water and by letting the whisky air out a bit, especially toward the end of the glass and after the last sip when only a few drops remain.


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Postby Deactivated Member » Tue Nov 05, 2002 4:36 pm


I just add a few drops, and it depends when it's cask strength or not, the I use some more water. Like all the others said it's just on personal preferences. Maybe it's good to start with a few drops of water(might be handy to use a dispenser), and later on maybe some more drops of water. I personal think about cask strength whiskies is that they can reveal their secrets drop after drop of water, and the good thing about that is, that you can adjust the strength to your own taste at that particular moment.



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Postby Gate » Tue Nov 05, 2002 6:36 pm

Drop by drop (literally, the sort of amount you'd get from an eye dropper) is a good way of getting a cask strength whisky to just where you like it, and to see how it develops, but on the whole I go with Harry: I like them neat with a glass of water on the side, so you can dilute in the mouth.

P.S. This really only refers to scotch: I don't think bourbon really goes with water at all, unless it's something like one of the cask-strength Wild Turkeys or the Cadenheads cask-strength bottlings. And I've never drunk Irish any way other than straight. Image

[This message has been edited by Gate (edited 05 November 2002).]

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Postby howarths » Wed Nov 13, 2002 9:19 pm

This is such a difficult question. It depends on the strength. I tend not to water down the mainstream 40% stuff, but you have to with a cask strength as the spirit just ends up numbing your taste buds.

It then depends on the whisky. I have had cask strength at 60% which after only about a tenth watered totally closes down. However I had the other week a young cask strength Rosebank, this was actually at its best at 50/50!!!

I say, don't listen to anyone or anything but your tastebuds. Whatever floats your boat....

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Postby heer.veer » Thu Nov 14, 2002 12:24 am

I'd like to know what you people use to add (a) drop (by drop, by drop....)

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Postby Deactivated Member » Thu Nov 14, 2002 12:36 am

Just still water, or in some cases demineralized water....

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Postby heer.veer » Thu Nov 14, 2002 8:25 am

Erik, thanks.

But I meant what kind of device do you use to add small amounts of water to whisky?

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Postby Deactivated Member » Thu Nov 14, 2002 10:02 am

Very simple: a dispenser made out of plastic, or glass, what ever you prefer.
But why ask it all here? While you have Johannes from Maltmadness as a friend I believe(correct me if I'm wrong, but that's what I understood from your earlyer messages)

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Postby Gate » Thu Nov 14, 2002 1:34 pm

I generally use a very cute little crystal jug I got in Cadenheads years ago, which has a very fine pouring lip so you can judge the water accurately. But I've used all sorts with perfectly good results - a cream jug, a cook's measuring jug, or just getting the kitchen tap onto a very fine flow and putting the glass under that. Using an eye dropper is probably overdoing it...

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Postby Nikwik » Thu Nov 14, 2002 4:33 pm

Why complicate things? A separate glass of water and a small spoon to pour with will do the trick (but I can admit it looks a bit more stylish to use some high-tech device...).

Jeroen Kloppenburg
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Postby Jeroen Kloppenburg » Thu Nov 14, 2002 8:54 pm

I found that the Highland Spring bottles have a perfect shape for easy pouring, and it allows me to have a presice enough measure of water.

And for those that wonder, I usually try to add water till the aclohol is down to about 30%. I found that at this level it doesnt really numb the tongue anymore, and the malt will really come 'to life'.

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Postby Deactivated Member » Fri Nov 15, 2002 10:54 am

Depends on my moods, how much I dilute, most of the time I'll like it neat. And sometimes I'll pick my own flavor, by adding some water, sometimes to just over 20% abv, but what I like more is somewhere between 30 and 35% abv.

Nikwik, you are absolutely right. It not should matter how, it more depends on the methode you prefer.

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