Jan 10, 2020
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The video below shows whiskey stones in action, chilling some bourbon. Using a thermometer and comparing against a room temperature glass of bourbon, we see how using whiskey stones very quickly chilled the liquid to ten degrees cooler.
Whiskey stones are traditionally cubes of soapstone or metal that chill your drink without diluting it. Whiskey stones will chill your drink without watering it down as ice does when it melts. Although whiskey stones will not chill your beverage as well as ice, it does not dilute the spirit.
Ice and whiskey stones are very different, so you should not view them as interchangeable, but instead they should be viewed as different ways enjoy whiskey. Ice will chill your whiskey to a much greater degree than will whiskey stones, so consider what temperature you enjoy your whiskey at. If you prefer your drink as cool as possible, ice is likely your best bet. If you prefer something cooler than room temperature but that will not be as cool as ice whiskey stones may be a good option.
Another of the major differences between ice and whiskey stones is how it affects the makeup of the drink. As ice melts, the water dilutes the whiskey and changes the taste of the drink. This is neither a good or bad thing, necessarily. However, it does significantly change the experience of the whiskey and we recommend trying it with both methods to discover if you prefer your whiskey diluted with water or undiluted. If you are in the camp of preferring your whiskey neat (straight without ice or water) whiskey stones are a great way to cool down the drink in warm weather. For this reason, whiskey stones have remained popular despite criticism from some purists.
Whiskey stones are simple to use. Put them in the freezer for a couple hours and they are ready to chill your favorite drink. In fact, if you use soapstones you can also microwave them and use them to keep beverages warm.
Whiskey stones come in a multitude of materials, but the most common remain stainless steel, soapstone, granite, and similar minerals.
Whiskey stones also come in a variety of shapes and sizes. Cubes and the most common, but spheres and disks can also be found.