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Adding Water To Whiskey

Adding Water To Whiskey

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Adding Water To Whiskey

Should you add water must you add water?

Why are there people that insist that you must add water on one hand and on the other hand there are others that insist on cask strength.

Whiskey Unlocking The Flavor Why Adding Water Is Necessary


Alcohol dulls and inhibits your taste buds.

Whiskey by law must have at least 40% ABV. Add a drop of water to most whiskies and something magical happens. The alcohol molecules agitate, unlocking access to the full range of the spirit’s flavors.

Watch it happen, pippet in drop by drop of water and watch as the whiskey swirls and separates as you add the water.

It is not the same for all whiskeys though.

Older or lighter whiskeys with delicate flavors sets may actually take on one taste not to your liking. If water is added in to a lighter whiskey you might just have a kind of tasteless blah.

Older whiskey it may help to bring out a stronger wood taste not what you want!

A simple rule of thumbs (no pun intended) nose your whiskey and taste it without water. If you like it as is, you may want to leave it but guess what another shot with water how can you turn it down.

How Much Water To Add

That’s easy try drip by drip till its to your liking of course use a pipette and keep track how many times you squeezed it!

What Water To Use

In order to not alter the whiskey with external flavors, the water should be as pure as possible of course it will help if the water is closely related say from the same region spring or even distillery.

Avoid mineral waters, as the compounds in the water can be quite noticeable and may affect how you taste the whiskey.

Of course unless your looking for some type of new soda don’t use seltzer also know as club soda.

Ice In Whiskey Also Know As On The Rocks

In some countries and cultures, such as Japan, good single malts are mixed with ice and soda water to create what’s called a Highball.

For tasting do your best to avoid it unless of course that is going to be a part of your knowledge base what tastes good on Ice. Ice both numbs the palate and “locks in” the flavors of the whiskey, making them harder to detect. I mean after all that’s why tasteless American beer is always served freezing cold!

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To spirits and cheers,

Binyomin Terebelo, Master Distiller and Drinkologist

Image by Ri Butov from Pixabay

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