Which whisk(e)y will you be drinking?


Decided it was time again to pour some of my 2005 “Lot B” George T. Stagg, the 131.8 proof variety. One oz. whiskey and 1/2 oz. water brings it to perfect drinking strength.

Just realized I have an unopened bottle of Thomas H. Handy Rye (another cask-strength Sazerac product) in my back-from-better-times stash as well. Gonna have to crack that open one of these days, but I think that’ll be when the currently-open Stagg runs out, so it might be a while.


Having knob creek single barrel tonight.



I was reading a couple pieces about that. Along with the 1742 incident with their facility collapsing.

its sad days ahead.


The horror :slight_smile:


If I were in driving distance…dangers be damned…I’d have headed over with a pick up truck dammit!!


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From Anthony Bourdain:

“I’m sure many people don’t like when I say it, but unless it’s something really, you know, rare and high-end like this, I’ll put a rock or two in,” he said. “It seems to open it up a little in a way I like.”

For me personally, it is rare that I want a whiskey of any kind neat. It has to be something with a very smooth texture for me to find it enjoyable that way. Most often I want it on a single large cube, a couple dashes of bitters, and a citrus twist of some kind. I prefer a true classic old fashioned (sugar cube, bitters, orange peel, whiskey) best of all.

A good friend of mine loves his whiskey neat always, and prefers scotches to bourbons or ryes. I like a scotch only if it is heavily peated…and then it is the last thing I drink because it destroys my palette.


I can only echo exactly what you’ve just said. I like my whisky with a cube of ice and bitters unless it’s the dead of winter and frigid in my house, in which case I’ll forego the ice. But ice in scotch, never. A dribble of water helps release flavors and reduce the proof a bit to smooth things out.


Heres the spiel:

The first thing to know is that traditionally whiskey was alway drunk watered. “Proper” service outside the US involved serving the whiskey with a pitcher of very, very cold water for people to water to taste. I’m working from memory, but IIRC this was until the late 19th century and persisted in Ireland into the 20th. The American habit of drinking whiskey neat, and as shots, was one of many ways in which Americans were rough and backwards.

Now that was before it was normal to package whiskey at 80 proof, prewatered. But theres no indication that 80 proof was the “correct” level of dilution. As the drinker added water to taste. And whiskey and water is still a cocktail, though largely displaced by whiskey and soda. Which is a really nice cocktail, especially if you toss some port or aperal in there, that involves heavy dilution of whiskey.

In terms of whiskey on the rocks. Whiskey (and other aged distilled beverages) is really complex. There are compounds in there that you can’t taste or smell at certain dilutions and temperatures. Some of them aren’t accessible unless you warm it up a bit (which is why some people use snifters). Some of them aren’t accessible unless you chill it down. Different flavors receed and come out at different temperatures as you head downwards. And the same with dilution level. The alcohol burn of neat whiskey, especially over proof whiskey can blow out your pallat preventing you from tasting even the flavors that exist at room temp.

What happens when you drink whiskey on the rocks is you move through those things in stages. The first sip is effectively full strength, at room temp. But with the alcohol bite softened. As the ice melts, and the temp heads down. Different flavors come in and out, the whiskey develops, the full flavor comes out, it continues to soften, subtler flavors become noticable. Then those subtle flavors drop off and the whiskey’s dominant notes take over. Until its fully to over diluted. And all thats left is whatever its dominant character is. Its a process and its dynamic.

That’s why people drink whiskey with a specific number of cubes or amount of water. They’re trying to stall things out at their prefered part of the process.

The no ice in anything crowd also forget two key things. First alcohol gets you drunk and adding ice is a great way to slow that down. Second, a lot of what we drink doesnt actually have all that complex awesomeness that supposedly warrents kid gloves.

So for every day drinking the ice doesnt matter, and helps you pace yourself.

And for “special” whiskey you’ll learn more about that whiskey, more granularly, drinking it with some ice. You’ll train your pallat to pick out individual flavors. You’ll notice things about the whiskey you might never have noticed otherwise.

It doesnt have to be your thing. But if you give a shit about whiskey, rather than just trying to signal something. You should make it a point to drink your whiskey on the rocks from time to time. Just like you should make it a point to drink your whiksey neat. Slightly watered. In a snifter. And in cocktails. Otherwise you don’t understand the subject fully.

Anything else is just personal preference.


And ALWAYS take care to use clean filtered water for your ice.

Unless you’re into the local chlorine or your favorite well.


Well you want good tasting water. My municpal water tastes great. The chlorine is not noticable. Before we could get hooked up to it our well water… Well if you let it sit it got this rainbow chemical film on it and I dont even know how to describe the taste.

If your tap doesnt taste good buy ice or use bottled water. But that’s advice for everything. Has nothing to do with whiskey.

The big ice works as described though, and even as a default on the rocks guy I vastly prefer it. No good for shaking or stirring which I’ve sadly seen people doing lately. But great for serving.


When it comes to consumption of anything…personal preference is everything. Drinking alcohol is (assuming you are not an alcoholic or a 21 yr old on spring break) about the taste and experience. So, yes it is always good to try things multiple ways including the suggestions of others/experts to help shape your opinion…ultimately it is all about the personal preference of what tasted good to you. It is the single most important thing when it comes to the question of “How should I drink my [insert alcohol here]?” Drink it however it tastes best to you.


Hang on… Glenlivet on the rocks??? There’ll be nae mercy for ye now, laddie. If tha’s no a pure mess I dinna know what is.

Michael Cohen admits violating campaign finance laws re: Stormy Daniels at Trump's direction

Aint nothing wrong with whiskey on the rocks. I’d give you the spiel but its pretty damn off topic.

I think its rather telling that he didnt say “glass of scotch”. He called out the brand. And its the sort of brand thats associated with money or class. A purportedly impressive one. But thats ultimately pretty affordable, easily aquirable, and not all that impressive.

Reminds me of yuppy bar customers who bragged about Chivas and made a yuge deal out of having $100 bills on them.


That seemed like a strange detail to share. I’ve seen enough spy movies to know the cocktails are coded messages to his Russian handlers.


He ate pizza with a fork too


Never understood the problem some folks have with whisky on the rocks. I’ve tried those “whisky stones” and they don’t impress me, so I’ll stick to the ice.

And Glenlivet is over-rated too.

(Sorry, off topic as you said.)


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This is how I read your post.