View Full Version : Scotch and Water
03-11-2013, 10:24 PM
Hi Everyone! I'm brand new to scotch and the forum and I have a question for all of you. I picked up a bottle of Glenlivet 12yr the other day and have been trying it out.
My problem is that when I taste the scotch strait out of the bottle all I get is burning alcohol. The aroma is fantastic when I smell it, but when i take a sip (very small amount) its just alcohol.
As I've played around with it I found that if I mix equal parts scotch and water, I can finally TASTE the scotch (which is fantastic) instead of just alcohol. I know that this is considered sacrilegious by some, however I'd rather taste flavors than just burn.
Can anyone relate to this? Do I maybe just need to slowly lower the amount of water I add?
Thanks for any/all advice.
03-11-2013, 11:24 PM
To pull out the different flavors, many will do the 1:1 ratio you mentioned, which keeps the alcohol from getting in the way.
When I first started gaining an interest I went on YouTube and watched a few videos of "experts" telling how to drink it properly. I know Ralfy has one, highland park and a few others. Ultimately I ended up taking a few cues from each to build the process I now have for enjoying whisky neat.
To each his own and I am sure you will pick up a style and process you enjoy with time. Until then, there is no harm in a 1:1 ratio to help develop your pallet.
From one relative noob to another :)
03-12-2013, 01:28 AM
No, it's not that big of a deal.
I'm of the opinion that however it is you enjoy scotch the best, that's the way to go.
Of course, this only goes to the point in which water or ice is included. But once people start talking about mixing nice single malt scotch with soda of some kind, my slapping hand gets ready. The only reason people do that is to mask the flavor of the spirit, which is improper for fine aged scotch. If you are going to mix scotch with soda, don't spend more than $10 on the bottle, and it had better be blended stuff, or better yet just get some vodka.
Now, as far as the Glenlivet goes, I actually don't like it too much. Even compared to scotches bottled at around 60%, I find Glenlivet 12 to have too much spirit burn for me. I have never liked it at all and have tried it several times along my road to palate sophistication so far. I find that while not a huge improvement, the Glenfiddich 12 is much smoother and sweeter. Or forget either and go to a better 12 year if not a 15 year.
03-12-2013, 02:09 AM
I used to mix in a lot more water than I do now. Over the course of about a month of having about 1-2 shots worth per day (I got a couple bottles for Christmas I quite enjoyed) I gradually found myself adding less and less water. Now, I find different whiskies take water differently, some better than others, with the cask strength stuff benefiting the most (big surprise).
03-12-2013, 12:57 PM
Neat, with water, with ice, it's all up to you - just don't put any soda or coke in it unless it's something cheap that you just can't stand otherwise.
03-19-2013, 07:52 AM
I found Glenlivet 12 to be one of the smoothest whiskies I've had. Though, I've learned people's impressions of whisky changes day to day and bottle to bottle.... mine certainly does. Ralfy reviewed Glenfiddich 12 and didn't have much good to say about it. Then a few years later he reviewed it again and loved it. So, I take impressions with a wee grain of salt.
As far as adding water... sometimes it seems to help, other times not. Sometimes it just adds a water taste and does nothing about the burn. To me personally, at best, its more trouble than its worth. But that's me.
I sip my whisky neat. If my sip is big enough that any made it more than halfway down my throat, then the sip was too big. Just enough to coat my tongue will do. Anymore than that is a waste that I didn't get to taste. Small sips like that also helps with the burn. Also, the more sips you take, the more it seems to smooth out and burn less.
03-25-2013, 07:28 PM
I personally dont drink whisky with any water.
The way it was bottled was the way it was intended to behave to your nose and palate by the distillery. Adding any water is going to take away the hard work they put into deciding how it was going to behave.
Not only that, but the water you are putting in will be totally different from the water they make the whisky with, and will impair the taste. Especially if it's from the tap.
When Dave Stewart takes the time and effort to decide to bottle 15yo Balvenie Single Barrel at 47.8% and you plonk a load of tap water in it, you've undone all that work :)
Add a little bit if you want to start getting into whisky, but you need to get your mouth used to the high alcohol content, because after a while you will just start quaffing down A'bunadh's neath (60%) :) :)
.....and get a bottle of Balvenie Doubelwood instead. Smoother and the sweetness and finesse will help you much more than chucking water into Glenlivet.
03-25-2013, 09:03 PM
Hi. Adding water dilutes the taste in most whiskies. But Dewar’s claims that a splash of water brings out the flavor in their Scotch whiskies.
Cheers!Stev, it's apparent from your posting that you're a shill for Dewar's and I hope the mods here see fit to strike all your posts, which only number 4 so far, every single one pushing Dewar's.
Dewar's doesn't get much mention here because it's not that great of a whisky, but I still prefer mine straight, as do many others.
Bottom line to whether to add water or not is up to the drinker, and while better scotches don't need anything, some of the stronger ones present another personality all together.
04-08-2013, 12:39 PM
Ice completely destroys the flavour of whisky.
04-08-2013, 09:47 PM
Ice completely destroys the flavour of whisky.Which is why it helps so much in cheap whiskies that you really don't want to taste. ;)
04-09-2013, 12:52 AM
I'm a noob. That sounds like the opening line of a "noobs anonymous" meeting. Hi, I'm john_b, and I'm a noob.
But I digress.
I've read and heard discussions for and against adding water, and I can understand both views. With only a few scotches and a couple of bourbons under my belt, thus far when I've tried adding even a drop or two of water it ruins the taste experience. I've tried a few neat, then tried them again with a touch of water, and it just doesn't work for me. To each his own.
04-09-2013, 02:50 PM
I always drink my whisky neat even the cask strength ones. Adding water makes it somehow soapy to me.
04-12-2013, 10:13 AM
I've read and heard discussions for and against adding water, and I can understand both views. With only a few scotches and a couple of bourbons under my belt, thus far when I've tried adding even a drop or two of water it ruins the taste experience. I've tried a few neat, then tried them again with a touch of water, and it just doesn't work for me. To each his own.The only ones that I've liked the water with have mostly been a couple of bourbons, particularly the Booker's, which is good and strong without water, softer and more easily drinkable with.
Haven't found any of the Japanese or Scottish whiskies with water yet.
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