Whisky consumption has a propensity to stir up a litany of opinions from casual drinkers and savants alike. The subject of ice has been at the centre of many of those debates since the dawn of time. Putting ice cubes into a glass of whisky can negatively influence the taste of the beverage in addition to diluting its ingredients. While most prefer their beverages to be served below room temperature, cooling whisky with ice just isn't conducive to enjoying the timeless drink for what it truly is. That being said, whisky stones just may be the invention the drinking world was looking for.
Whisky stones are the scientific answer that is designed to keep a glass cold without diluting the flavour or the potency of the whisky. The stones, less commonly referred to as whisky rocks, are made up of a metamorphic rock called soapstone. Soapstone is generally composed of talc, a mineral high in the chemical element magnesium. Sculptors have used soapstone as a medium for centuries prior to this new and innovative use. The most commonly used brands feature a square appearance and are approximately half the size of a standard ice cube. Consumers are instructed to freeze the stones for anywhere between 5 to 6 hours before they'll be cold enough to chill a drink; so it isn't the most conducive option for a spur of the moment drink but certainly becoming a viable alternative to ice in participating bars and restaurants worldwide.
Regardless of whether or not traditionalists agree with the notion of adding anything to whisky, the stones do accomplish what they set out to do. They are odourless, flavourless, and sustainably cold for about one hour. Naturally, the stones do not have to be used exclusively for whisky; they can keep any alcoholic or non-alcoholic beverage cool without diluting the flavour in any way. In addition to the sheer functionality of the cubes, the ornamental properties should not be ignored. Customers, on-looking patrons, or house guests will all be intrigued by the novelty of whisky stones.
Some antagonists of whisky stones have reported that they only manage to chill a drink by a very small margin, sometimes only 1 or 2 degrees cooler than a room temperature beverage. Another common complaint is that the heaviness of the stones makes for a less than enjoyable overall experience, having to be constantly mindful in order to avoid allowing the stones to collide with ones teeth while sipping. Other alternative stones made up of more common materials such as glass, plastic, or steel even have some health detriments associated with them.
Considering the fact that one could purchase a set of whisky stones for very little, it's worth experimenting with them to find if they add to your whisky drinking experience.
Personally on a hot summers day, a dram in hand I like a small amount of Ice Cubes in the glass.. but thats just me.
What do you think? What is your opinion on Whisky Stones?
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