The Whiskey and water myth
The whiskey and water myth now. The whiskey myth of not adding water to whiskey has been around for a long time. Seasoned drinkers will say to omit the water; however, the seasoned whiskey drinkers are wrong.
You have probably heard the saying “water ruins whiskey,” or “whiskey and water should not be mixed.”
The mature drinkers have probably told you that water will ruin the flavor. However, you may discover there is no truth to that rumor, and certain water may open the whiskey’s bouquet.
New whiskey drinkers are shocked to know that distilleries add water to the whiskey during the bottling period to reduce the alcohol content. The water reduces the whiskey’s alcohol content by bringing the “alcohol by volume ” by 30% to 40%. The water and whiskey myth opens eyes to possibilities to experiment with other whiskies.
The Whiskey and water mixing
Adding water to whisk(e)y should be based on your personal taste. The whiskey and water myth solved during the tasting. If you are new to whisk(e)y, you can add or mix whatever you like to develop a liking for any of the world’s whiskies.
I would recommend first taste the whisk(e)y neat and then determine if you need to dilute it with water. Many higher quality aged whiskies will probably be smooth enough for your taste buds and not require dilution.
Always remember, when in doubt, then use the cough test to gauge if water is needed. The cough test occurs on that initial sip of whisk(e)y when the whisk(e)y hits the back of your throat, and you may or may not start coughing.
You will probably need a glass of water to quench the coughing and soothe your throat. Water and whiskey disperse the myth of why water is needed in whiskey.
The Whiskey in the cask or barrel
Whiskey maturing in cask or barrels. The whisk(e)y maturation process starts once the distillery fills the equal cask or barrel with whisk(e)y. The whiskey heated to the point where it is between 160-190 proof. The alcohol by volume (ABV) equates to 80-95%.
In some cases, the whiskey is strong enough to either put hair on your chest. Or, the whiskey is strong enough to put hair on your chest.
The whisk(e)y matures during the period, and the alcohol evaporates slowly through the cask or barrel walls. The lost alcohol amounts to approximately .5% to 1% per year. The alcohol lost is called the angel’s share. The water and whiskey restore the balance lost during maturation.
The whisk(e)y is bottled as cask-strength or barrel-proof whisk(e)y, once the ABV equals 50-60 percent (+/- 5 percent). As far as dilution goes, with barrel-proof or cask-strength whisk(e)y, the whiskey goes from barrel to bottle.
Furthermore, if you desire to add water to cask-strength or barrel-proof whisk(e)y, then it’s your choice to add water to meet your specific taste. The whiskey and water myth creates an interest to pair the whiskey and water.
A rule of thumb is you should dilute as necessary to suit “your own taste.” If you are a drinker of different whiskies from different countries, I suggest the following:
Tasting Scottish, Japanese, Canadian, Taiwanese, or Irish whiskies
Most whiskey drinkers should initially taste Scottish, Japanese, Canadian, Taiwanese, or Irish whiskies before adding any water. The whisk(e)y drinker adds two to three drops of Highland Spring water to the whiskey glass if needed.
The drops of water will definitely open up the Scotch whisky. The whiskey and water myth create interest with more whiskies.
If you don’t have Highland Spring water available, try some of these suggested bottled water brands with your whiskey.
- Icelandic Glacial
If you happen to have a reverse osmosis water system on your kitchen sink, then experiment with how the water affects the whisky taste. Also, I would suggest not using regular tap water due to possible sediments in the water.
The best practice, taste American whiskey before diluting it with water. I would suggest trying Old Limestone Mixing Water before using regular tap water when drinking bourbon whiskey.
The water dispensed from your kitchen tap may have some additional minerals that can affect the whiskey’s flavor. The bottled water recommendation under the bottled water category for experimentation with American whisk(e)y.
Hard or soft water properties have a bearing on how water affects the different whiskies’ tastes. Lastly, if the above water recommendations are not readily available, you could use distilled water.
Finally, always remember that not one person in the world has the right to tell you how you should drink your whisk(e)y and how much water to add. Just drink and enjoy it however the heck you want to!! The whiskey and water myth buried with other untested beliefs.