Whether it be without water, with water, with ice, with soda water, etc etc. Just whatever YOU prefer.
And don't let anyone tell you any different!
I personally never add water, ice or anything to whisky, not even cask strengths.
I got annoyed at Whisky Live Glasgow when every second distiller rep told me to add some water to my whisky, even after declining the first time they sometimes almost INSISTED I add water to it.
Surely the only thing that matters is that you ENJOY it, no matter what way you take it.
If I am exploring a whisky with the aim of taking notes and giving a score, then I may (although rarely) add water if I feel it might open up a new dimension or offer something different. But mostly, I'll assess it neat, directly out of the bottle, so that it can be judged on its raw and naked merits.
This is very different to enjoying a whisky, whereby you might simply be sitting down and relaxing with a drink in your hand. In these circumstances, do whatever you have to do to allow you to drink and enjoy the dram. (But I feel it would be inappropriate to add copious amounts of water, or ice, or cola, or whatever, and then try and make convincing comments about the quality or merits of the whisky)
I suspect presenters at tasting events strongly encourage adding water because they know it will release the bouquet a little more and open up the nose to the perceived majority of the audience who may not have the same depth of knowledge or experience as many of the contributors to these forums.
I never found a hard and fast rule about adding water or not and I think that's part of the charm of single malts and whisky in general; it's a never ending voyage of discovery.
I've also observed that the "don't add water" team are really committed to not adding water!
At home I almost always take it neat, though once in a while I find a dram a bit closed and I'll add some water to see if it will liven it up. Never ice, never soda, never coke, never gingerale. As we've said elsewhere, if you must add a mixer then it isn't a good drink in the first place. Whisky products which advertise ice buckets to go with it are starting things off on the wrong foot, IMO.
a local whisky pub owner was asked what was his oldest malt he said a 48 yearold glenlivet from gordon and mcphail he was asked for a double with coke he politely refused and said why not try a b ells with coke because he couldnt understand why you would ruin such a rare malt he refused to sell the glenlivet and he doesnt like whiskey
Anyway thats my 10pence worth
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