The Barrel Mill is all about the expert cooperage that creates the best-tasting whiskey, bourbon, wines, and brews. We choose the finest oak to create our barrels and age them to perfection. You could say we’re a bit obsessive.
So, it’s no wonder that we also know of more than one way to consume whiskey–even if there are arguments over which is best. While some whiskey enthusiasts prefer drinking their beverages neat, many prefer their “water of life” on the chilly side. Let’s compare and contrast the most common whiskey chilling options.
Whiskey stones have become popular over the last few years. The theory is that freezing stones will keep your drink cool without melting, therefore you don’t risk diluting your whiskey with water and changing the flavor. While they are a handy way to chill your drink, they are a bit difficult to keep clean. They also chill whiskey a bit cooler than neat, meaning they don’t keep your whiskey as cold as ice. Ultimately, using whiskey stones breaks down to personal preference.
Stainless Steel Cubes
If you are a whiskey purist who shivers at the thought of adding water to your favorite aged beverage but also wants an ice-cold glass, you might be best suited to stainless steel cubes. These are often filled with water, meaning they hold their icy chill, don’t dilute your drink, and are easy to clean. Win, win, win!
Large Cubes and Spheres
The goal of larger ice cubes and spheres is to limit melting ice and diluting whiskey. Oversized cubes and spheres have a larger surface area; therefore, they melt at a slower rate. Some whiskey enthusiasts claim the best way to enjoy whiskey is with a splash of water, making larger cubes and spheres their ideal choice.
If you are looking to chill your glass without and specialist equipment, try the whiskey wedge method. This is a slanted ice cube molded to a glass. The flat plane of the ice creates even less surface area to melt into your drink. It looks delightfully different and is one of the best methods in keeping your drink chilly.
At-Home Tips for the Best Ice Cubes:
Looking for the best ways to get the clearest, purist cubes at home? Follow these tips:
- Throw away your old plastic and invest in quality ice cube trays
- Consider where you are placing your trays. They should be set on a level space with equal airflow on all sides
- Adjust the temperature of your freezer. Ice that freezes too quickly can trap air pockets in the cube. Turing the temperature up a few degrees can slow the freezing process and allow air bubbles to escape
- For clearer ice, use filtered water. You can also remove impurities from your tap water by boiling it before putting it in the freezer
At the Barrel Mill, we are passionate about distilling and aging the very best whiskey. However you like your whiskey served, we hope we have given you a few “cool” ideas. For more whiskey tips and industry news, check out our blog page.