What’s worse than warm scotch? Extremely watered down scotch, obviously.
No need to fret, ladies and gentleman, the problem has been fixed! Teroforma Shop’s Whisky Lover set solves that problem by replacing the ice cubes with six soapstone cubes that cool down your drink — and provide that essential “clink” — without diluting the whisky.
Whether you’re a grad or a dad… It’s a pretty great gift. Stumped on ideas? LIFE’s guide to Great-Looking Gifts.
Better Question: What’s worse than either warm or extremely watered down scotch? Perfectly good scotch with GODDAMN ROCKS IN IT.
Funny, we got an email from our friend Jon Dascola about these cute accessories last week. For space, I’ll paraphrase his well-written and objective review, which details his journey from excited-but-skeptical scotch drinker to…
Well, he thought they sucked. Didn’t chill it one bit, he said. Not in the least, he said. And he wanted to know what we thought.
Since “Acerbic Half-Informed Opinion” is my Team American Drink superpower, I was happy to chime in. After all, I’ve never even tried the things. What I have done though, a result of spending half my adult life behind a bar and the other half in front of it, is develop a fairly fine-tuned bullshit detector.
And I’m calling bullshit on Teroforma Whisky Stones.
First of all, “dilution” is not a bad word.1 Save for a few full-strength varieties, all whisky is diluted. Distillers add water right out of the barrel to get whisky to its desired bottling proof. After that, adding even more water is known to be a great way to open up a whisky’s aromas and keep the alcohol heat from numbing your palate to all those tasty accents locked inside that aged single malt. Cold can’t do that by itself. Only water can. Wanna avoid too much water? Take Jon’s advice and use a bigger cube.
But what if you’re the type who prefers your whisky straight-up, as the distiller intended? Well high-five, Josey Wales. We should go drinkin’ sometime.
If I’m sampling, especially rye or bourbon, I almost always go straight. With scotch, I do the same, but I usually end up adding a cube or two halfway through to get the full effect.
That said, if the whisky’s too warm, the alcohol sensation is exaggerated and many of the flavors vanish. So indeed, chilling without water can make a positive difference.
But what if my whisky isn’t warm? Or what if it’s REALLY warm? Where’s the exact resting proof+temperature+age sweetspot where .25 degrees—or whatever minute change a slightly chilled piece of soapstone imparts on 3 ounces of room-temp scotch—makes a difference?
Let me answer: Who the fuck knows. That’s why there’s ice.
Otherwise, if I want chill minus water, I’m better off putting my glass in the fridge for 5 minutes, lowering the AC in my house, or maybe, just maybe, not storing my 23-year-old Rittenhouse atop the attic furnace.
To be fair, I’m mostly bitching about LIFE’s write-up. For their part, Teroforma (at least on their site) seem to avoid any claims that the stones do anything at all, let alone “cool down your drink.” And they certainly don’t purport to be any sort of cure for the non-ailment of whisky dilution. It’s LIFE that does all the marketing here. ↩