Drinking Whisky with Ice
Some may choose to drink their whisky “on the rocks”—in other words, to add ice, and there are a number of advantageous reasons to do so. Traditionally, scotch whisky was thought to be best enjoyed at room temperature. However, what was considered room temperature two hundred years ago is considerably cooler than the temperate, thermostat-maintained temperatures we tend to live in today. Thus for those who want to cool down whisky their whisky quickly and effectively, ice is a straightforward means to do so.
Adding ice to your whisky can change the flavour profile, creating a different experience than you would if you were drinking the same whisky neat. Furthermore, whisky is known for its high alcohol percentage (usually 40% ABV as a minimum), and when you get up to the higher percentile of this (some vintages can range up to 60% ABV), the alcohol vapours can burn your smell and taste buds, which prevents you from being able to distinguish all the nuances of your whisky, and diminishes the overall experience. Finally, diluting your whisky with ice can make this strong spirit more approachable for those who are new to trying whisky.
How to add Ice to your Whisky
If you choose to add ice to your whisky, there are ways to elevate your experience. Primarily, the size of whisky ice cubes you choose to use is essential, as the smaller the cubes the faster the ice water will melt and the more diluted your drink will become. Thus it is recommended to add one or two large squares, or a spherical ice ball. An ice ball does not have thinner edges or corners, so it melts slower as a result. Use fresh ice, as older ice can absorb the flavours and smells of the freezer over time. Clear, fresh ice will ensure that no unwanted flavours appear in your whisky.