When I see someone drinking a good whiskey with 10 ice cubes, I immediately think the person is a novice whiskey drinker. Most of the time it is true, and the people only are doing what they see in movies and pictures (like the one above). Whiskey is not meant to be drowned in ice cubes frozen straight from the tap. If you are wanting to learn the best practices, listen up.
When drinking whiskey straight, there are 3 general methods: neat, with water, or on the rocks. Big-shot lawyers in the movies always have a bottle of single malt laying around the office and offer it to colleagues or clients. If you pay close attention they always drink it neat, as in nothing in it and room temperature. The reason why this isn’t the best way to drink whiskey is because whiskey is generally strong (40% alcohol), and the alcohol is what you taste most. It doesn’t leave room for your pallet to taste all the subtle flavors.
Drinking whiskey with water is considered the best. Now, I don’t mean putting your whiskey under the spicket for a second or two. I mean using only 5-10 drops of purified non-carbonated water without any chlorine. These few drops of purified, room temperature, water are supposed to “open up” the whiskey and help release some flavors and aromas. The real reason for this practice is simply for diluting the drink to make it taste a little less like getting punched in the face.
Ice in general with your whiskey is a no-no. Think about it. How do you or any restaurant make ice? You put the ice tray under the tap and fill it up, then place it in the freezer. Tap water contains lots of chlorine and other chemicals used for purifying. Chlorine absolutely ruins the whiskey flavors. If you must use ice with your whiskey, only use one or two cubes max. When you put 3-10 cubes of ice in your drink, the ice melts and dilutes your whiskey so much that you can barely taste anything but watered down alcohol. Plus, the whiskey is supposed to stay at around room temperature.
One tip that I actually found to be pleasing, is rinsing your whiskey glass before pouring the whiskey in. If you rinse it and just leave the little bit of water that adheres to the insides of the glass, it is the same as using around 10 drops of water and it seems like the glass is fresh with every sip. I like this method a lot. This is also how I drink my beer. The next time you have a cold one, rinse out the glass before you pour. Make sure to get as much water out of the glass you can since it is a lot bigger.
If you guys have any tips or information worth adding, please do so!